The Wages of Fear

While perhaps an inferior film to the one we covered last week, Henri-Georges Clouzot's earlier piece, The Wages of Fear (1953), only serves to hammer home the fact that he had a better hand for suspense than Hitchcock. The Wages of Fear manages to be one of the most suspenseful films in history without being anything close to a murder mystery or spy thriller or horror film. Take the explosive threat that drives the suspense in the opening scene of Touch of Evil and expand to two hours, keeping it the background terror of a deep character study on the various ways fear takes its toll on man. As Bosley Crowther said in his New York Times review on the movies initial release: "You sit there waiting for the theater to explode."