William Friedkin's Sorcerer is finally headed to Blu-ray!

Noach Kowalski

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William Friedkin's "Sorcerer" -- a film that fell victim to shifting tastes when it opened more than three decades ago -- will be remastered and released in theaters and for the first time on Blu-ray, the director told TheWrap.
The director told TheWrap that a "major studio" has gotten involved in creating a new recolored, digital print and that he hopes it will be ready in time for the Venice Film Festival this August. He said he will have a formal announcement within roughly a week and that the re-release will include all media.
"We’re working off the original negative, which is in pretty good shape, but without changing the original concept we have to bring it back in terms of color saturation, sharpness and all the stuff," he said.

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/william-friedkins-misunderstood-1977-sorcerer-getting-re-release-exclusive-81966

Can't freakin wait! I hope they don't screw it up.
 

Russell G

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Great news! The vhs copy of a copy I saw was less than desirable, it will be nice to put this on the shelf next to "Wages of Fear".
 

Richard V

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Have not seen this film since originally released. This is certainly Good News!!
 

Harry-N

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This is fabulous news and a great way to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Home Theater Forum.

I first discovered this movie on an old HBO showing - pan n scan of course, and the stoked my interest in the movie. I later acquired the LaserDisc thinking it was something special in terms of widescreen. The language on that was either misleading or a mistake.

In the HDTV age, I had to "upgrade" to the existing Universal DVD which was only slightly better than the LaserDisc - and still pan'n'scan - but at least I could watch it once in awhile without too much angst over the picture quality.

Now, in the year that saw two of my other holy grails for upgrade upgraded (THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1..2..3 and FRANTIC), it looks like the other one will also see a big upgrade.

Thanks for the news. Report any further news in this thread.

Harry
 

RobHam

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I have this in the US released pan & scan 4:3 DVD. I reckon it was unfairly machine-gunned by critics when compared to Wages of Fear. Yes, WoF is the better film, but this one also has its merits - not the least of which is the Tangerine Dream soundtrack.

Once given favourable reviews for video/audio quality, this is a definite purchase for me.
 

Ushabye

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While not without its flaws - too much set-up; that first forty minutes drags like a sumbitch. Something the Clouzot take doesn't suffer - they really don't make them like this anymore. Riveting 70s jungle road nihilism with an electro score, and one of the sweatiest movies ever made. Can't wait to finally see this on the big screen.
 

Richard V

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While not without its flaws - too much set-up; that first forty minutes drags like a sumbitch. Something the Clouzot take doesn't suffer - they really don't make them like this anymore. Riveting 70s jungle road nihilism with an electro score, and one of the sweatiest movies ever made. Can't wait to finally see this on the big screen.
Reminds me of the Cheers episode when Cliff and Norm having a debate about the sweatiest movies ever made. LOL, I think the winner was Cool Hand Luke.
 

davidHartzog

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The Wages of Fear remains a great film, an existentialist adventure with a great cast headed by a very effective Yves Montand. Sorcerer was, like Heaven's Gate, was a loser then and remains so, a total waste of time and money and Roy Scheider, only the score is memorable.
 

Russell G

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davidHartzog said:
The Wages of Fear remains a great film, an existentialist adventure with a great cast headed by a very effective Yves Montand. Sorcerer was, like Heaven's Gate, was a loser then and remains so, a total waste of time and money and Roy Scheider, only the score is memorable.
So you're not going to be into this release? :P

I really liked Heavens Gate when it got released by Criterion. I agree that Sorcerer suffers from a slow start, but once it gets going the going is pretty good.
 

Charles Smith

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Even with whatever flaws it may have, for me this is stupendous news.
 

davidHartzog

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No, I'm not going to make this release, with apologies to Jackie Susann, once is sometimes enough. I mean Friedkin missed the whole point of Wages, that character is revealed through action.
 

Professor Echo

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If only technology could somehow restore Friedkin's original vision and replace Scheider with Steve McQueen. ;)

Still a must buy for me. I don't have any issues with this remake and think both films work as individual entities, each equally masterful within their own skins.
 

JoshuaB.

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I've long hoped to see Sorcerer in its OAR (I admit I bought the full frame DVD, but it was hard to watch), so a blu-ray of a restored version is exciting!! I saw Sorcerer long before Wages of Fear (mostly because I loved Roy Scheider so much in Jaws and sought out all his films, with disappointing results, post-52 Pick Up), so it's my preferred version. Friedkin was one of those 70s filmmakers who stumbled in the 80s (To Live and Die in LA notwithstanding), but Sorceror will always be one of my favourites of his films.
 

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Sorcerer has its differences from Wages, but I like them both, and find Sorcerer to be the more watchable film.
-- I like the setup, it tells us who these people are
-- the road trip is much more harrowing in Sorcerer
-- the various personal, economic political forces at work are more complex and better portrayed. Wages is more one-dimensional. It is 50's French socialism compared to 70's post-modernism.
 

JoHud

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Remember, last year Friedkin said that he was taking both Universal and Paramount to court over ownership of this film, with a court date for March 2013.

Friedkin said himself he only started the legal battle to settle once and for all who unquestionably owned home video rights and thus get the ball rolling on actually getting a remaster and/or restoration done on the film, as it apparently got muddled shortly after the Universal DVD release. This news confirms that the plan was a success.

Now I'm curious which studio is going to be handling this, as it is almost certainly going to be either Universal or Paramount (WB?). I'm hoping it is the latter due to their better track record with films of the era. Universal kind of blew it with The Sting.
 

AdrianTurner

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I'm a fan of this movie and look forward to a proper release. Like many people who have already commented, it is fairly slow to get going and in fact looks like a movie made by one of those Cuban or Mexican directors whose main concern was the exploitation of the Third World. That was pretty amazing for a big budget Hollywood picture.

But the major problem with Sorcerer, I feel, is the title itself - it seems as if Friedkin was trying to remind people of The Exorcist, even suggesting they were in for a similar sort of scary ride. I think this was a significant reason why the film flopped so massively.
 

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