The Wages of Fear – Criterion [DVD] (1953) *VERY GOOD*

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GTIN: 037429203224

The Wages of Fear – Criterion [DVD] (1953) *VERY GOOD*


Frenchmen Mario and Jo, German Bimba and Italian Luigi are stuck in the isolated town of Las Piedras. Surrounded by desert, the town is linked to the outside world only by a small airport, but the airfare is beyond the means of the men. There is little opportunity for employment aside from the American corporation that dominates the town, Southern Oil Company (SOC), which operates the nearby oil fields and owns a walled compound within the town. SOC is suspected of unethical practices such as exploiting local workers and taking the law into its own hands, but the townspeople’s dependence upon it is such that they suffer in silence.

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The Wages of Fear (FrenchLe salaire de la peur) is a 1953 French-Italian thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Yves Montand, and based on the 1950 French novel Le salaire de la peur (lit. "The Salary of Fear") by Georges Arnaud. When an oil well owned by an American company catches fire, the company hires four European men, down on their luck, to drive two trucks over mountain dirt roads, loaded with nitroglycerine needed to extinguish the flames. The film brought Clouzot international fame—winning both the Golden Bear and the Palme d'Or at the 1953 Berlin Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, respectively—and allowed him to direct Les Diaboliques. In France, it was the 4th highest-grossing film of the year with a total of 6,944,306 admissions.

The Wages of Fear

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Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Produced by Raymond Borderie
Screenplay by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Jérome Geronimi
Based on Le salaire de la peur
by Georges Arnaud
Starring Yves Montand
Charles Vanel
Folco Lulli
Peter Van Eyck
Music by Georges Auric
Cinematography Armand Thirard
Edited by Madeleine Gug
Etiennette Muse
Henri Rust
Distributed by Distributors Corporation of America (US)
Criterion Collection (1999 DVD release)
Release date
  • 22 April 1953
Running time
153 minutes (original French theatrical version)
148 minutes (international edit)
Country France
Language French

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Weight .8 lbs
Dimensions 5.3 × 1.0 × 7.5 in


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