Last night’s screening of William Friedkin‘s Sorcerer (’77) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music was fine. A packed house filled with cool people. (I sat right next to Glenn Kenny!) No Tangerine Dream overture on the print — a huge disappointment — but maybe it’ll turn up on the Bluray. Variety critic Scott Foundas handled the q & a with Friedkin following the screening. Clip #1 is about the genesis of the project, and clip #2 is about Friedkin’s discussions with Steve McQueen about playing what became the Roy Scheider part.
I’ve seen Sorcerer (a terrible title in terms of what the 1977 Joe Popcorn crowd was led to expect) six or seven times, but until last night I’d never wondered about the gas. The two trucks make a 200-mile journey through the jungle, and driving entirely in first and second gear. Surely they couldn’t make the trip on a single tank each, and yet I didn’t notice any extra cans of gas strapped to the flatbeds. And how long did the journey take? Two days? A single day? Three? The film gives you no real clue about the clock.
And Scheider getting iced at the very end seems wrong. The trip was hell but he made it through and had earned redemption by delivering the nitroglycerin. I wanted hsi character to taste the satisfaction of a job well done, and perhaps a little serenity. Scheider apparently wasn;t happy with how he came off. From the Wiki page: “Scheider was angry that in the final cut Friedkin removed a subplot that showed his character in a more sympathetic light; it involved him befriending a small boy from the village. For that reason, Scheider consistently refused to comment on the film.”