Movie Review: Sorcerer (1977)


Sometimes you have to take a break from the newer movies and sometimes even from the very well known classics that everyone knows about and just watch something old and maybe not too well known. This is such a film.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Sorcerer”.

In a remote South American jungle we find four men (Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou) from different parts of the world who all work for this company. And they all one day sign up for a dangerous assignment; transporting a shipment of nitroglycerin through the jungle. And if you know what nitroglycerin is (how could you not?) then you know that it’s one of the most unstable materials in the world. So if you are a little too shaky… boom. And that is an interesting plot point to add to a movie because it gives it an opportunity to build a suspenseful story… and this movie took that opportunity. I thought the plot of this movie was very well handled and that there was a lot of tension being built throughout. It also has some existensial themes hidden in there to give it a little more depth. It is really a slow burn and the whole transport thing doesn’t start until about halfway through the movie, but I had no real problem with that since every part of this plot worked incredibly well for me, but I can see how it would turn some people off. But I fuckin’ loved it.

The characters never feel like they are invlunerable at any point, they all feel like real people who could be killed off at any time. But they were all really interesting and they all fit the story very well. Roy Scheider shows in this movie that he’s not only great when it comes to hunting murder-sharks, but that he also knows how to do a dramatic transport of nitroglycerin. Seriously, Scheider is absolutely terrific in this movie. The other three who also starred in the movie were great as well, all of them did a great job in the movie. All other supporting actors were great in their respective roles too.

The score for the movie was created by German band Tangerine Dream and while it shows it’s age, it is still really good and works really well for the movie. It’s very electronic and I feel like it works for the tense plot and the environment that it all is set in.

This movie was directed by William Friedkin and holy hell, it is a magnificently directed movie. The shots are beautiful, showing off some great camera work. There is also a fair amount of handheld camera work being done and while I’m not the biggest fan of the technique, I feel like it added something to “Sorcerer” in terms of realism and grit. But all of it is terrifically done, all of it seeming very real. It’s also apparently a remake of a French movie titled “Le salaire de la peur” or “The Wages of Fear” for those of you who do not speak French.

There is not a whole lot on this movie online, but I have found a little bit. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. And on it has a score of 7,7/10 (based on less than 10000 votes). The movie was also nominated for 1 OScar in the category of Best sound. 

“Sorcerer” is one of those under-appreciated movies that not too many have seen. It has a great & suspenseful plot, great characters & acting, great music and terrific directing. Time for my final score. *KABOOM*. My final score for “Sorcerer” is a 9,88/10. That means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Sorcerer” is now completed.

IF you have not seen this then you are doing yourself a disservice.


4 thoughts on “Movie Review: Sorcerer (1977)

  1. I’ve never even heard of this film, so I was glad to read your review. Sounds intriguing, especially with Roy Scheider, who really is a terrific actor.

    It’s good to highlight these little-known films once in a while.

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