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The Wages of Fear (1953) Poster

Trivia

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Yves Montand and Charles Vanel both suffered from conjunctivitis after filming in a pool of crude oil and being exposed to gas fumes.
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Filming began on 27 August 1951 and was scheduled to run for nine weeks. Numerous problems plagued the production, however. The south of France had an unusually rainy season that year, causing vehicles to bog down, cranes to fall over and sets to be ruined. Director Henri-Georges Clouzot broke his ankle. Véra Clouzot fell ill. The production was 50 million francs over budget. By the end of November, only half the film was completed. With the days becoming shorter because of winter, production shut down for six months. The second half of the film was finally completed in the summer of 1952.
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Henri-Georges Clouzot originally planned on shooting the film in Spain, but Yves Montand refused to work in Spain as long as fascist dictator Francisco Franco was in power. Filming took place instead in the south of France, near Saint-Gilles, in the Camargue. The village seen in the film was built from scratch.
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Accusations of anti-Americanism led to the US censor cutting several key scenes from the film.
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This was the first film to win both the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
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This was the film debut of Véra Clouzot. She was the wife of director Henri-Georges Clouzot. She acted in only three films, all for her husband.
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Jean Gabin refused the role that eventually went to Charles Vanel because he didn't think his fans would pay to see him play a "coward".
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A film of some historical significance as it was a foreign film which, without being dubbed, was widely released in Great Britain. In the early 50s, it was held that British audiences would not stand for a subtitled film, and foreign films rarely got beyond the big cities except through specialized outlets such as film societies. However, this film was a huge box-office hit, and led to a brief period when other subtitled films were given a general release in British cinemas. None did anything like as well at the box-office and the trend quickly petered out. It was pointed out that large sections of "The Wages Of Fear" contain no dialogue at all, and that many lines of dialogue are in English as there are several American characters - perhaps these may have been factors in the film's success.
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Was the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year in France.
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Yves Montand's first dramatic role.
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Film shown in Enterprise S1 E21 "Vox Sola", the crew watches "old movies" to relax on their space voyages.
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The large truck Mario and Jo drive to transport the explosives is a White 666.
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Original novel: "Le salaire de la peur", written by Georges Arnaud, published by Julliard, Paris, October 1950, 203 pages.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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A comprehensive 4K restoration, supervised by cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman, was completed in 2017.
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Final film of William Tubbs.
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Note how Yves Montand's character Mario still smokes his ever-permanent cigarette even around nitro.
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This film was spoofed by Spike Milligan in a Goon Show episode entitled "Fear Of Wages".
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #36.
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Colorized in 1996 with the approval of Henri-Georges Clouzot's daughter.
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Visa d'exploitation en France #11794.
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Yves Montand - at the time better known as a singer - was greatly intimidated by his more seasoned co-star Charles Vanel who would inevitably nail his scenes in just one or two takes.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Body count: 5 on screen, plus 13 on the oil well disaster (as explained by one of the characters).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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