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August 27, 2013

Episode 129: Sorcerer (1977)

Special Guest: William Friedkin

Four men ride along dangerous mountain roads carrying nitro glycerin to put out an oil fire. That's the gist of William Friedkin's Sorcerer -- an adaptation of Georges Arnaud's Wages of Fear -- the movie that pushed the director to the brink.

We're joined by Eric Cohen of The Cinefiles.

Visit the Sorcerer blog
Buy Sorcerer on Blu-Ray
Buy The Friedkin Connection
Buy The Wages of Fear on DVD
Buy Violent Road on DVD
Buy Wages of Fear by George Arnaud
Follow William Friedkin on Twitter
Read an interview with William Friedkin from Vanity Fair
Read “No One Is Just Anything”: In William Friedkin’s ‘Sorcerer’, Four Reduced Men Must Gamble with Life to Give It Value by Tom Pelan
Read Violent Road: A Californian Wages of Fear? by Andrew Nette
Listen to our Cruising episode

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  1. Wow. He got it from Natalie Wood and Capra. Wow. Just WOW. The man get's cooler and cooler...and now with Killer Joe he is back. I loved Bug, I loved Rampage, I love LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. all as much as his "hits'. In fact, I like THe Exorcist The LEAST of them all...as it's the least "Friedkin". Brilliant man.

  2. You finally got me to write in, you boys! I love Sorcerer and have ever since I saw it on it's first run, back when nobody else did! I knew then that it was not only one of the best suspense films I'd ever seen, but it was a Film Noir in the truest sense, and as such should be considered a classic of the form! I met Friedkin around 18 years ago when he was in SF promoting Jade and giving a talk at San Francisco State University where the class he was speaking to couldn't have cared less that they were in the presence of one of the greats of filmdom. It was a total thrill to get my laserdisc of Sorcerer signed and inscribed by WF, that it was HIS favorite film he had made, and it's now a prized possession. You guys make me feel old when I hear about how you first saw not just Sorcerer, but most of the films you discuss. I love your show and listen almost religiously, except on the occasion when you do a show on a film I just can't care less about (rarely!). Thanks again for this stellar episode, and perhaps I'll contribute to your next VHS show since I worked for 3 different video stores in various capacities, and saw just about everything relating to the behaviors of the hardcore and casual videophile! Keep up the great work, and more Friedkin!!!

    1. Jeffrey,

      THANKS! Means a lot to hear from you about the show. Yeah, it's kind of sad. I think SORCERER is a classic... but people don't seem to know it, yet. Hopefully, the clean up, the blu-ray, etc. will wake them up.

      To be honest, I'd rather watch this again than that other film from 1977 that blew it out of the theaters! ;)

  3. Saw this film for the first time last week. Edge of my seat gripping!! Looking forward to listening to this.

  4. on topic of calling something a remake.
    all art needs to be looked at in the context of history. film (american at least) are coming from the cultural context of Hollywood more so than the individual directors.

    the narrower or smaller the look you can say one thing or another is unique but in the larger picture it's not so. art gains more clarity and becomes more interesting i think the wider view you have of it.

    that's what this rando has to say about a decade old blog post.