Blu-ray, DVD Release: Sorcerer

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 22, 2014
Price: DVD $12.96, Blu-ray $27.98
Studio: Warner


Sorcerer movie sceneWilliam Friedkin’s Sorcerer, the 1977 cult suspense thriller will make its Blu-ray debut in a 40-page Blu-ray book filled with images from the film and excerpts from the book Friedkin’s recently published book, The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.

Sorcerer is derived from the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 French classic, The Wages of Fear. The film, made following the successes of Friedkin’s The French Connection and The Exorcist, tells the story of four men who end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin through 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four displaced men have nothing to lose so they agree for a small payment of cash.

Roy Scheider (Jaws), Bruno Cremer (Under the Sun), Francisco Rabal (Dagon) and Amidou (Ronin) star in the movie, which features a memorable synthesized score by the German electronic experimental band Tangerine Dream, their first film credit.

The film, which cost a reported $22 million to produce, grossed a disastrous $6 million at the domestic box office, getting blown off the screen by the newest flick in town, Star Wars!

Sorcerer has been remastered by Warner Bros., under Friedkin’s supervision along with colorist Bryan McMahan, who has worked with the director since 1994. “The new restoration makes the film appear as if it was just made. None of the essentials — the clothes, the hair — are dated in any way. It looks the way it looked to me when I looked through the lens of the camera,” said Friedkin.

The restoration began with a 4K film resolution scan of the original 35mm camera negative. The soundtrack was restored from the original 35mm 4-track stereo masters which were in remarkably good condition and contained full dynamic range.

“I have a great fondness for Sorcerer, more than any other film I’ve made,” says Friedkin. “Sorcerer is the one I hope to be remembered for and the one film that came closest to my vision.”

The PG-rated film was originally released on DVD by Universal in 1998, but has long been out of print.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.