Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
France/Italy, 1953. Compagnie Industrielle et Commerciale Cinématographique, Filmsonor, Vera Films, Fono Roma. Adaptation and dialogue by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jerome Geronimi, based on the novel by Georges Arnaud. Cinematography by Armand Thirard. Produced by Raymond Borderie, Henri-Georges Clouzot. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by Rene Renoux. Film Editing by Madeleine Gug, Etiennette Muse, Henri Rust. The Criterion Collection. Cannes Film Festival 1953.
Superb French adventure! Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique) directs this winner of the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Four unemployed men bumbling around a South American city vie for the opportunity to do a driving job for the big oil company near where they live. The job is to take four huge trucks loaded with nitroglycerin (that can be set off by the slightest disturbance) up a huge mountain to where they are needed by land developers. The job could mean risking their lives, but for the chance to work they are willing to do anything. Yves Montand leads the cast, while Charles Vanel is excellent as one of his fellow drivers, an aging sod who starts a rivalry with his colleagues. Some of the action sequences are so intense they will take your very breath away.