I’m presuming there were two reasons for the British distributor of William Friedkin‘s Sorcerer wanting to sell it as Wages of Fear, to wit: (a) Sorcerer was always a bad title…a suicide title, really, as it obviously implied something scary and supernatural, especially coming from the director of The Exorcist, and (b) Sorcerer tanked in the U.S. soon after opening in June 1977 so the British distributor undoubtedly said, “What the hell, let’s try to sell it with the original Henri-George Clouzot title…maybe it’ll make a bit more money that way.” Friedkin’s Wages opened in England in February 1978.

From the Wiki page: “In most regions of the world it was also retitled as Wages of Fear and distributed by Cinema International Corporation (later renamed as United International Pictures), a joint venture specifically established for overseas distribution. This version opens in the village with the drivers already present, and ends with the delivery of explosives. The cuts were made by the international distributor Cinema International Corporation, without Friedkin’s consent in order to obtain more screenings, which angered the director greatly.

“The opening vignettes are somewhat retained, albeit heavily shortened and inserted as flashbacks. Although the European cut is shorter, there are almost 16 minutes of unique footage not shown in the original American theatrical version. The film’s European as well as Australian cinema release cut 28 minutes from the original (but not in France, where the movie was distributed in its full-length version).

“The aforementioned changes were approved by Verna Fields and commissioned to Jim Clark, who reluctantly agreed, and Cynthia Scheider. Fields was a Universal Studios executive who thought shortening and restructuring the movie would increase the movie’s commercial potential. Roy Scheider was also interested in applying those changes, offering his cooperation. Jim Clark was reportedly assured by Fields that Friedkin permitted changes, but was very suspicious about the authenticity of this claim. Therefore, Clark wrote an indemnity preventing Friedkin from any form of interference. Some additional dialogue written by Clark and Ken Levinson was later dubbed in. The studio did not possess the original work print; hence it was forced to work on the combined print. Jim Clark said the cut was ‘at best, passable’ and was of the opinion that if he ‘had left Friedkin’s version alone, it would have had exactly the same fate.'”