The Wages of Fear

The 1953 French film “Wages of Fear” stands as a classic and a significant influence on contemporary cinema. Its gripping narrative follows desperate men tasked with transporting highly volatile nitroglycerine across a treacherous desert, offering not only intense thrills but also a biting satire.

One Rotten Tomatoes reviewer, amidst its flawless 100% score, describes it as “an uncompromising parable about money, greed, and man’s insatiable desire for the unattainable.” Such is the film’s iconic status that it received a 1977 remake titled “Sorcerer,” and now Netflix is set to release its own adaptation.

The trailer for the 2024 Netflix reboot promises explosive action akin to the original, enhanced by modern filmmaking marvels. With thrilling truck chases reminiscent of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, the question arises: will the remake retain the darkness of the original?

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Dave Kehr hails the 1950s original as “one of the most deeply and disturbingly nihilistic films ever made.” Despite the edited version shown in US theaters, it remained a heart-pounding thriller with a potent anti-American sentiment that stirred controversy upon release.

The film, along with Georges Arnaud’s novel of the same name, influenced filmmakers like Sam Peckinpah, shaping subsequent testosterone-fueled thrill rides. Roger Ebert, in a 1992 revisit, praised its timeless suspense sequences while critiquing its outdated sexual politics, affirming its status as a cinematic gem.

The premiere of “Wages of Fear” on Netflix, a leading streaming platform, is set for March 29, 2024, promising audiences a riveting experience that honors the original’s legacy.