Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Re: Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)

#26 Post by James » Wed May 21, 2014 12:26 pm

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Your Future our Drucker
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Re: Movie Theater Experiences

#27 Post by Drucker » Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

This probably belongs more in a New York-centric thread, but according to their weekend newsletter, William Friedkin will be at the Monday, June 2 showing of Sorcerer at 7pm and doing a Q&A afterwards.

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Re: Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)

#28 Post by Ugarte » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:41 am

Friedkin will be answering questions from Los Angeles via Skype. He won't be at the Film Forum.
Saw the restored Sorcerer there yesterday. Marvelous print and a much better film than I remember.

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Re: Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)

#29 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:21 pm

Recently watched Friedkin's Sorcerer on the recent Blu.....Wow. What a truly beautiful & sublime movie.

This print is's definitely like seeing the film for the first time. Superb PQ & color...the green forest scenery was especially vivid; even the scenes during the downpour (as the trucks were driving over the rickety bridge) were quite clear. Those who were responsible for cleaning this picture up for this Blu print deserve a medal. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite Blu's of a '70's film, and is right up there with the Taxi Driver Blu...

The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream was astounding...I like their music in anything, but it especially worked here.

Re: the inevitable comparison to Wages of Fear, though that was a decent movie, it doesn't hold a candle to the brilliance of Sorcerer. I feel Friedkin's film was much more intense & well done. Though, granted, I'm biased towards '70's films anyway since it's probably my favorite decade for cinema:

I thought it was great to see the beginning sequences which explained exactly why these four guys ended up living in a hell-hole at the end of the earth, and why they were down on their luck/desperate enough to take the extremely dangerous job of transporting dynamite. The extreme contrast between the various urban areas (New Jersey, Paris, etc.) in the beginning to a s%$&%$ in the middle of nowhere was quite pronounced...This exposition was missing from the WOF; as far as I can remember, there wasn't a back-story for the characters in that film...

Also, the ending scenes were incredible:

-Great scenery when
Scheider was driving through the canyons towards the end; the purple dusk sky in the background was stunning ...
The final scene of the film was truly brilliant - liked the unexpected downer of having Scheider about to get away with the $, then having the taxi pull up outside of the cantina with the mob guys who were after him...after they went into the cantina you knew he was a goner

I was also very impressed by the small HC booklet that came with the film (an excerpt from Friedkin's memoir); great insight on the making of the movie, and it was especially interesting to read his inspiration for the title of the film. Prior to reading this, I had no idea why a movie about a group of desperate men transporting dynamite across a jungle would be titled Sorcerer....

Didn't mind that there were no extras on this Blu; the print & film were so stellar that I honestly didn't care...

I wonder why this film didn't do better in the theater? Possibly because, as Friedkin himself says in the book, it came out around the same time the original Star Wars hit theaters, and nothing much could compete with SW at that time...

(The only other time I had seen Sorcerer was the old pan & scan DVD from years ago; that print was horrible, and looked like a bad VHS rip...In any case, the PQ was so bad on that print that I actually couldn't make out most of the action, and therefore the movie didn't make a lot of sense to me...)

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