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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • 148-minute director's cut

Wages of Fear

1999 Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Starring: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter Van Eyck, Vera Clouzot, Folco Lulli
1953 | 148 Minutes | Licensor: TFI/Revcom International

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #36 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: February 2, 1999
Review Date: January 20, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

One of the most nerve-wracking and exciting films ever made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's masterpiece won the Grand Prize at the 1953 Canne Film Festival. An American oil company enlists four tough drifters for a high-paying suicide mission--transporting explosives across the rough terrain of Central America. Criterion is proud to present Wages of Fear in its original 148-minute version.

Forum members rate this film 8.4/10

 

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PICTURE

Wages of Fear is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, dual-layer disc.

This disc is apparently a port of the original laserdisc and it shares plenty of the same issues with most of Criterionís early releases. The image is quite fuzzy with very little in the way of definition and detail with a haze just around everything. Contrast is not good, presenting what is a rather dark image throughout, and darker sequences can be hard to see. The print isnít in bad shape, though, presenting a modest amount of damage throughout, limited to vertical lines and some marks.

At the time I admit I thought the image looked pretty good, but in comparison to what Criterion can do now (as their re-release for this title can show) itís not that strong.

5/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The Dolby Digital mono track is about as good as the image. Itís serviceable but it is fairly weak and has a bit of distortion and noise. Some of the English dialogue sounds a little rough and can be hard to understand. It also lacks any real power and comes off fairly flat, as demonstrated by the opening title score. Just a bland track.

4/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Other than the fact the full 148-minute version of the film is included here thereís nothing terribly special about this release, presenting nothing in the way of special features other than an insert presenting a short essay by Danny Peary giving a brief analysis of the filmís place in the thriller genre.

I always felt this film deserved a little more and Criterion did eventually reissue the film in a two-disc special edition with a few features. Hopefully one day theyíll also get around to Diabolique.

1/10

CLOSING

This release has been discontinued and replaced with a two-disc edition containing a new transfer and a selection of supplements so youíll probably only find it used in stores on E-Bay, though more than likely for cheap. Still, if you find it cheap enough is it worth picking up? Probably not. The new release is a big improvement and is worth the extra money. Not only does this release have nothing in the way of special features but it also contains a fuzzy, unimpressive transfer.


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