The Wages of Fear (Clouzot, 1953)

The Wages of Fear (H.G. Clouzot, 1953)

I bought this movie on dvd a long time ago, but never got around to watching it. Then, the Tivoli theater announced it as part of one of their classic film series and I decided it best to wait and see it on the big screen. I must say it really was not worth the wait. The film has its share of strengths. For being tagged in the suspense/thriller genre, it sure does a great job of defining its characters and the situation they find themselves in. The first hour, which is called dull and uneventful by many, was probably my favorite part. I enjoyed watching these characters sit around and be lazy, rolling with the punches of everyday life.

wages

It’s when the suspenseful second half picks up that the film goes downhill. (Well, actually the film begins to go downhill in the first half when Clouzot starts using side characters purely for the purpose of showing viewers how tragically they are treated.) But during the men’s dangerous trip Clouzot throws ridiculous circumstance after ridiculous circumstance at us just for the sake of extreme suspense. And the end of the movie might be one of the worst I’ve seen. I do give him credit for creating suspense without overbearing music, and for leaving certain events a mystery, but overall I had hoped for better from this.  6.75/10

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