“Sorcerer”: Another “Lost” Cult Classic Gets New Life On Blu-ray

William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, the film which acclaimed novelist Stephen King called his favourite of all time, has been a tough film to find. Never on TV and largely unavailable on modern home video formats in Europe, the dark thriller will get a UK theatrical re-release Nov 3 ahead of a brand new 40th anniversary Blu-ray Nov 6.

In Top 10 Films writer Mark Fraser’s wonderful essay on the film, he said Sorcerer “remains one of the most curiously mistreated Hollywood films of all time.” Writing the piece in 2013, Fraser called for a Blu-ray release to not only do this film justice, but give Sorcerer the audience it richly deserves. His wish came true shortly afterwards when the film received a region free release in the States. But in the UK the film remained out of reach.

Now that’s all about to change…

Not only is Entertainment One releasing the film in cinemas Nov 3 but UK audiences will be able to check it out on Blu-ray for the first time Nov 6. The release, which includes reversible art, features “Sorcerers”, an extended conversation with William Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn totalling 74 minutes.

Friedkin’s tense, existential thriller starring Roy Scheider (Jaws, The French Connection) is a brutal exploration of fate and destiny. Exiled from their home nations, four strangers from separate corners of the earth agree to undertake a dangerous mission to transport unstable dynamite through the hot, dense jungle of South America in order to earn their passage home.

When the slightest bump in the road could equal instant death, the real question is not whether these men will survive this nerve-shredding ordeal but who will they have become if they return at all?

Now, 40 years since its release, Sorcerer is regarded by critics and filmmakers alike as a true lost cinematic masterpiece – a triumphant feat of filmmaking that encapsulates the revolutionary artistry of 1970s American cinema and not to be missed.

Stephen King, speaking recently to the BFI, said: “My favourite film of all time – this may surprise you — is Sorcerer, William Friedkin’s remake of the great Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear. Some may argue that the Clouzot film is better; I beg to disagree.”

Discover more about the film in Mark Fraser’s essay William Friedkin’s “Sorcerer” Is A Curiously Mistreated Masterpiece

William Friedkin’s Sorcerer appears in a number of Top 10 Films lists including:
Top 10 US Films Which Warn Against Crossing The Mob | Top 10 Films of Joe Spinell | Top 10 Films Involving Terrorism That Were Made Before 9/11 | Top 10 Films Which Will Change The Way You Look At The Oil & Gas Industry

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    Mark Fraser Reply

    Nice to see the new Blu-ray release will include the poster’s original artwork (the cover on the right, although the position of the character in front of the truck crossing the bridge has changed) and a nice variation that would have been just as apt.

    For some strange reason, Warner Home Video completely changed the cover artwork for its 2014 Blu-ray release – it included a half shot of Scheider’s face and the burning oil well. It was kind of odd given Sorcerer is the name of the truck depicted – not the well (although it’s arguable the well should have been given the title, especially as the Sorcerer truck is the one that gets blown up). Warner also changed the title’s font to a fattish san serif; highly inappropriate given the film’s content.

    The Warner disc also has no extras. A commentary involving Friedkin would be nice, but I wish someone would reissue the original international cut of the film, which was very different from the 1977 US release.

    It’s a lucky filmgoer who will be able to see this on the big screen.

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