#169: The Wages of Fear (1953)

When and how did I watch this?

December 17th and 18th on Hulu Plus.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Same director as Diabolique. I discovered the same lead actress is featured in it.

What do I know about it now?

The first hour or so of the film drags and hardly develops any characters. The aforementioned lead actress is virtually useless. Dialogue dominates this portion of the film, which is fine, but besides communicating the characters’ desperate situation, nothing is really useful.

The second half (warranting this strategic second paragraph) is where the movie truly begins.  Once the men man the trucks, the landscape of the film changes.  Everything is tense. One false move, and doom is instantaneous.  I loved every minute of it, with the exception of the finale.  My wife argued that the end was cathartic, but I felt it was unnecessary.  The viewer can decide for himself.

What are some themes in the film?

Futility, fear, courage, pride, fate

Did this affect me personally?

Some of the images are unforgettable.

Why is this ranked #169?

This is the closest thing to an American film in terms of the way tension is built among foreign films.  I would assume it has wide appeal among those who have been privileged enough to discover it.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She loved it.

Would I watch it again?


Would I recommend it to a friend?


Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes.  Some of the cinematography really transcends the era. The director knew what he was doing with every tense sequence.  This is a standout film.

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