Back in 1977, Director William Friedkin was looking for his next film to follow "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist". He found that film in SORCERER, one of his least appreciated and underrated films.
Four men running from their lives end up in a tiny, poor South American town, hiding from an assortment of hit men, bankers and bad guys.
The film opens in four cities around the world, starting in Paris, where banker Victor (Bruno Cremer) is faced with a crumbling empire built on fraud. Escaping a life of luxury, he heads for the jungle.
Arab terrorist Kassem flees after executing a brutal bombing in Jerusalem and hit man Nico is played by Francisco Rabal, escaping a hit gone wrong.
These four strangers find themselves recruited by an oil company to transport volatile cases of nitro nearly 300 miles in decrepit trucks through the Amazon to the site of a burning oil well.
With nothing to lose, the four face death at every corner for a big payday that only half of them are expected to survive to collect.
Friedkin continued his amazing work of the 70's here, tracking the trucks and our anti-heroes across some of the most brutal terrain ever captured on film.
When the trucks must cross a raging jungle river by traveling a decaying suspension bridge made of vines, one of Friedkin's finest film sequences ensues, building incredible tension with little dialogue, raging sound from all directions and the unusual, haunting music score by Tangerine Dream, which they composed in its entirety without ever seeing the film.
Audiences at the time were cold to the film, as were critics, perhaps confused by the title and expecting something very different after "The Exorcist", but time has been kind to this challenging and powerful film.
Friedkin considers it his favorite film, Quentin Tarantino called it one of his favorite dozen films of all time in 2012 and audiences continue to discover it as a unpredictable, smart and tension filled version of Clouzot's original film classic, "Wages of Fear".
The new Warner Bros high-def-Blu-Ray collector's edition is beautiful to watch, sounds terrific and looks brand new.
The photography by Dick Bush is beautiful and really shines in this archival transfer. Fire up the sound, get as big a screen as you can and allow yourself to be immersed in SORCERER.
It's a hidden gem from the seventies that deserves your attention.
A tough, relentless and exciting A+ that earns Friedkin's second spot in my all-time Top 100 films.