One of the most intriguing area of the seventies is the great many movies that had some blood and wreckage and managed to hold a PG rating. With this in mind, director William Friedkin’s updating of the French film The Wages of Fear takes a color look at four men binded by fate and consequences leading to the intriguing title called Sorcerer.
In four different countries, a man or two is commiting a crime of some sort knowing full well that consequences would be handed to them in some way or another. The only way to get away from the bad results of it all is to escape from the country to somewhere they would never find them. Without knowing each other or being linked in any way, these four men end up in an unknown South American country where work is laborous and death is coming once every day.
With nowhere else to turn, an oil fire springs up in their area and these four men are offered a proposition with their driving experience. In exchange for their escape, they are to drive trucks filled with volatile nitroglycerin which the slightest bump in the road can cause to explode. With any second being their last in this world, the four men go on their struggle in hope that they may come out alive.
This is a most intriguing experience that this viewer had heard a bit about in being that some films that were released had built up expectations only to be letdown in the end at the time of its release and with the quality of the film, this was certainly not the case as the film is wisely divided into three acts and has enough build up and character backstories to balance everything out.
The slow pace of the film is deliberate but in a faster pace film, the result would become predictable and just another film. This uses the casual pace handily with the driving of the trucks and the unsuredness that all will make it out alive. On a sidenote, the film’s score by Tangerine Dream was also used in the theatrical trailer of The Warriors, which carried an on the run story dealing on foot where this film deals with a big truck and treacherous terrain and how something so small can cause so much damage.
One friend even mentioned that with the very little dialogue in the movie, this easily could’ve been equated with a silent film and this viewer does agree with that in the storytelling and all. From start to finish, Sorcerer is certainly a film that plays much better today than at the time of its release in that with many years and many stories told on the big screen, it’s good to take a step back once in a while and have a sense of curiosity about certain films and how they would play now for this one plays better then some (not all) of the films presently in theaters.
Video: How does it look?
Sorcerer is featured on this DVD in 1.33:1 full-frame and the results are a bit disappointing in that there are shots that would be better scene in an aspect ratio to give it a more cinematic look with some of the activity and goings on in the film along with certain group shots that capture all people and that the result of full frame cuts them off. There are also occasional white lines in the print showing the film’s age. Visually, this viewer has seen worse prints on DVD so there is room for improvement on this film hopefully someday.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track actually keeps the Oscar nominated sound intact that is a good but not great track but utilizes the effects and Tangerine Dream’s score very nicely in the scenes as well as getting the dialogue across as well with the lines that pop up once in a while since most of the film relies on the actions in the film rather than the words. It wouldn’t be a track that is on par with the surround ones of today but for an film in that era, it’s slightly better than decent. This disc also has English, Spanish and French subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
All that can be found on the Sorcerer DVD are production notes, cast and crew bios and the films theatrical trailer which also is in full frame.
With Sorcerer it provides a better than expected film that this viewer and others hopes gets a special edition remastered treatment in the right hands in the future on DVD.