The Wages of Fear
The Wages of Fear (1953)

Together with Diabolique, The Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la Peur) earned Henri-Georges Clouzot the reputation as a "French Hitchcock." In truth, Clouzot's ability to sustain suspense may have even exceeded Hitchcock's;… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1953
DVD Release Date: January 26, 1999
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An existential suspense classic, The Wages of Fear blends nonstop suspense with biting satire; its influence is still being felt on today's thrillers.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

Turning the screws with a relentlessness that impresses even in this age of the ruthless, high-tech thriller, Clouzot strings together situations of vividly, almost sadistically imagined danger.

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A harrowing odyssey of four derelicts inching two trucks loaded with nitro-glycerine over a tortuous terrain puts this in the strong meat department with a downbeat theme of fear and its manifestations.

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Robert Martin

This is filmmaking at its very best and rarely does a film grip with such intensity, some scenes being almost unbearable to watch as the situations the men find themselves in create palpable tension, which you believe utterly.

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

Hitch's bomb-under-the-table suspense formula burnished to an expert sheen.

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Time Out

A reeking bandana movie, with all the expected thrills, but a vision of men as scurrying insects with no redeeming features.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Anti-capitalist exciting existential adventure film.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

A significant influence on Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, this grueling pile driver of a movie will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

The excitement derives entirely from the awareness of nitroglycerine and the gingerly, breathless handling of it. You sit there waiting for the theatre to explode.

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Budd Wilkins
Slant Magazine

The Wages of Fear contains tension-fraught stretches of "pure cinema" that probably gave even the Master cold sweats.

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More reviews for The Wages of Fear

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhães
There is nothing like having your nerves frayed to shreds by a brilliant director who knows how to create something so unbearably suspenseful (the mise-en-scène… More
Graham Jones
Tension. Wages Of Fear is the the perfect example of how to use good dramatic tension. I've never been on the edge of my seat for an entire film like I was… More
Dan Schultz
A towering, devastating motion picture about a few brave men who are handpicked to be drivers of trucks carrying explosives, along a rugged terrain with… More
Tim Salmons
Henri-Georges Clouzot is a filmmaking force to be reckoned with. His work is always constantly engaging and seminal, as well as being somewhat controversial in… More
Chris Weber
Since this was made by Henri-Georges Clouzot, the "French Hitchcock", I figured it might be worth seeing. After all, this is the same guy who made the… More
Reid Volk
A visually striking and immensely intense thriller from Clouzot. Stranded in a desolate Central American town, a group of down and out Europeans are feverishly… More