Bfi Thriller: The Wages Of Fear

  • PG

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Thrillers get our minds racing as well as our pulses, bringing the twists and turns of psychological and political intrigue together with edge-of-the seat action. We love to be in the grip of uncertainty, and to see our suspicions played out to their perilous conclusions. As well as offering the chance to revel in the work of masters of suspense like Alfred Hitchcock and enjoy the sheer thrill of danger and deception writ large on the big screen, this season is an opportunity to reflect on the way the thriller has evolved to reflect our personal fears in times of political uncertainty and social change.

The Wages Of Fear

Henri-Georges Clouzot more than earns his title as the 'French Hitchcock' in *The Wages of Fear. *Based on Georges Arnaud's 1950 *Le salaire de la peur, *and serving as the basis for William Friedkin's 1977 *The Sorcerer, *this adaptation brought Clouzot the international fame necessary to make *Les Diaboliques, *and marked him out as a master filmmaker.

In an unnamed South American country, four shady characters find themselves thrust together on a dangerous job. They are each offered $2,000 to drive two trucks of highly volatile nitroglycerine to a remote oil field. One truck is manned by the happy-go-lucky Luigi (Fulco Lulli) and calculating Bimba (Peter Van Eyck), the other by aging hood Jo (Charles Vanel) and the young Corsican Mario (Yves Montand in one of his first roles). Tension builds between the men as they inch their way over the treacherous mountain roads, in the knowledge that the slightest jolt could have explosive consequences.

*'The Wages of Fear *has no superior in the field of action-suspense' *The Guardian***

Director: : Henri-Georges Clouzot

France/Italy 1953

Cast: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli, Véra Clouzot, William Tubbs

Run time: 131 mins

The BFI Thriller season takes place in cinemas across the UK, on BFI Player and BFI DVD, on broadcast television, and with education partners INTO FILM, and is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated new BFI book.

*With the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery. *

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