William Friedkin’s 1977 thriller Sorcerer is about to get a limited re-release in a restored version. Why has this masterpiece been overlooked for so many years?

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by Mike

    on 14 Apr 2014 17:52

    Freidkin appears to have tweaked the colors for the upcoming Blu-Ray, joining the horrible teal-and-orange fad. Blast it all.

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by Mike

    on 14 Apr 2014 17:47

    Sounds like Friedkin has messed with the colors on the Blu-Ray release and added the dreaded teal-and-orange. I'd have expected better of him. Blast it all.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by ADfilm

    on 11 Apr 2014 19:09

    I would love to see this film after being restored and the way it should be. I also like Star wars and this film, there 2 different types of films, it doesn't mean one film is good and one is bad. Star Wars is a iconic film.

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  • Comment number 29. Posted by DigitalHorizons

    on 6 Apr 2014 08:45

    Just a side note, Tangerine Dream are still going and have just performed for the first time the score for Sorcerer live in Copenhagen where William Friedkin introduced the band on stage. Sorcerer the music has just been re-released by the band with updated versions and extra material which is available from their own official website. Might not be a replacement for your cherished vinyl copy Mark but it does look good. Only one original member remains from 1977 but but all accounts the show was well received. Tangerine Dream have now started their 'final' world tour but have not ruled out further one off shows in the future. They hit London in May at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Very much looking forward to adding Sorcerer to my Blu ray collection and, if you can check out the work of Tangerine Dream and maybe even catch them live.

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by M P Kealey

    on 5 Apr 2014 23:32

    Really looking forward to seeing Sorcerer again. I saw it when it came out and if memory serves it was screened in the Queens Film Theatre (QFT) in Belfast. I also vaguely recall Barry Norman reviewing it, presumably Film '77! I also recall hearing a genuine south Derry accent from one of the actors. Also looking forward to seeing the great Roy Scheider on the big screen again and hearing the fantastic Tangerine Dream soundtrack.

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by Roger Darcy

    on 5 Apr 2014 16:58

    Spacevens. 5th April
    Sorry I'm late - Well I'm here now to concur with 'Sorcerer' being underrated, and indeed I'm hoping Spaceodds is correct about the Blu-ray release - But there ought to be a release at home here too for sure. I like the Star Wars films though, and I still think Tangerine Dream's Sorcerer score is good stuff and very fitting as well. And also, many folk may not remember seeing it, but it was shown at least once TV here, not certain when though, early 90s?- Anyhow there may be fans soon anyway following your favourable review - A re-assuring surprise indeed!

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by Ieuan

    on 5 Apr 2014 11:33

    So sorry to disagree Mark, but I think opening on the same weekend as Star Wars was not the only reason Sorcerer flopped - it's rubbish (and Heaven's Gate is a masterpiece, but that's an argument for another time I fear....).

    I spent the entire showing with my head in my hands, wondering how so much of what made Wages of Fear such a classic could have been so profoundly missed by Friedkin. The film takes an *eternity* to get going, with pointless exposition after pointless exposition that in the event comes to nothing as (spoiler alert) the characters are quickly dispensed with in the third reel. I never truly believed in the relationship between the 2 central characters, so heartbreaking and human in the original ends up being woefully underdeveloped and if anything strangely hostile.

    As keen as I am to see lost gems and underappreciated classics championed and brought back into the light, this one I'm afraid ought to stay buried in the amazon.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by Vincent Kane

    on 4 Apr 2014 05:41

    I first heard about Sorcerer in the early 90s when I found the Tangerine Dream soundtrack LP at a charity shop. I've been wanting to see it since then but never had a chance. Only 5 years ago did I see Wages of Fear and learn about the connection between the two.

    I love Wages of Fear (Clouzot became criminally underrated after an all too influential hatchet job by Godard and Truffaut in Cahiers du Cinéma, motivated no doubt by an Oedipal complex of the artistic variety) and will watch Sorcerer with an open mind, but I can't imagine it being better than the original.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by Dorival

    on 3 Apr 2014 18:46

    I recently watched Sorcerer and I thought it was excellent. I have not seen Wages of Fear so I cant compare but being a Friedkin fan I watched to see if it was something of a lost classic and it is. I know this might seem strange to you Mark but i prefer Sorcerer over The Exorcist. I just love when Friedkin makes these uncompromising nihilistic thrillers about immoral characters that work as both pieces of tense entertainment but also existentialist studies. To Live and Die In L.A. is both an uncompromising thriller and a study of how amoral a main character can go. Same as Sorcerer. If it would of came out in 75 it would of been a huge hit. But it was just out at the wrong time. Its probably Friedkin's best film in how good the film making is. The score by Tangerine Dream is incredible (Along with their scores for Thief, Risky Business and Near Dark) It is everything i love about 70s cinema. There is no way in hell a film like Sorcerer would get made now in the hollywood system. Needs more superheros and Cgi. The film has no central hero. No central villian. No love story. No likable characters. The second half of the film is a white knuckle into the heart of darkness. An ending that basically screams at you that life is hell. Its a great film. I always say this about Friedkin, when he is on form, He Delivers such films like this, To Live and Die In L.A. when hes off form he makes films like Jade. I am glad Sorcerer has picked up a huge cult following because if one film deserves it. Sorcerer does

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by David White

    on 3 Apr 2014 08:23

    This is one of several Tangerine-Dream-soundtracked films I've been itching to see for ages, the others I mean being 'Thief' and 'The Keep' ('Legend' is easily available, and there are other smaller films beneath my radar currently). I only know of these films because of my appreciation of Tangerine Dream (pre 90'sTD stuff really - they're not quite the same now). I even have an original Sorcerer film poster folded up somewhere.

    Still waiting for David Byrne's 'True Stories' to get a region 2 DVD release.......

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