director William Friedkin
I really don’t know what I have to add to the litany of words of praise and commentary on William Friedkin’s Sorcerer. While Sorcerer is not a re-make of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s fantastic 1953 film The Wages of Fear, it does tackle the Georges Arnaud novel from which it was adapted. Friedkin pulled off one of the great challenges in film, to rework a great film and come up with something new, fresh, and potentially as brilliant as the original.
More than 20 years after Clouzot’s film, Sorcerer ups the ante on scale and challenge, shooting a more global story in more rough and isolated locations, building set pieces of greater height and danger.
I’ve been working my way through Friedkin’s heyday films because he’s someone that I have not given enough attention to over the years. If anything, Sorcerer underscores his prowess as a filmmaker, an auteur in the 1970’s American Hollywood explosion of excellent, ambitious and inventive film production. It’s great that Friedkin was able to get a fresh print of Sorcerer made because it absolutely solidifies and emphasizes his reputation as one of the greats of the era. And thus of any era.