This shouldn't be a B movie....but discontent foiled a would-be blockbuster. William Friedkin, the director and producer, had just done "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection." The star, Roy Scheider, fresh from "Jaws" would be cast in Bob Fosse's, "All That Jazz." Success should have been easy for 1977's "Sorcerer." Not so. Mr. Friedkin, not an easy man to get along with, feuded with the studios prior to this film's release. Both Universal and Paramount had joined forces to make this can't-miss epic. When the finished product was delivered to them, these studio's were aghast, and cut a half hour off the final product, releasing a 90 minute B movie. Mr. Friedkin was furious, but today we have the 121 minute epic, available on DVD. A remake of 1953's "Wages of Fear," this is one of the dirtiest movies ever made (literally).
Our three protagonists hold menial jobs, and scheme on getting new identities and escaping their cursed new home. Lucky for them an oil well explodes and catches fire. As long as the well isn't producing capital, no one works...making the atmosphere ripe for civil war. Our trio then are offered lots of dinero to transport some unstable dynamite 217 miles through the jungle. This dynamite will blow out the oil well fire, restoring production. Desperate and grizzled, the three are joined by a couple more shady characters and piece together rickety old trucks for the trek. If the ride gets too bumpy...BOOM! No one expects them to succeed. What follows is a harrowing ride through storms, jungle growth, rivers, unstable bridges, homicidal rebels, and eroding roads. The scene when Jackie maneuvers his truck across a rope bridge has been termed by some critics as the most tense three minutes ever put on film (see above picture).