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William Friedkin's Restored 'Sorcerer' Getting A Re-Release, Aiming For The Venice Film Festival

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by Kevin Jagernauth
March 21, 2013 6:01 PM
11 Comments
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William Friedkin Sorcerer

As William Friedkin spent most of last year on the promo circuit for his deliciously raw "Killer Joe," one frequent question he fielded was about the fate of his 1977 flick "Sorcerer." The film has been in mired in some complex legal stuff, but as Friedkin himself told us last year: " I sued Universal and Paramount to determine who owns the rights because they claimed both studios through their legal affairs department claimed they didn't own the rights and I don't know what's happened, I think it has fallen between the cracks. So I'm suing these guys to save the afterlife of the film." And it looks like the tactic worked (though he dropped the suit). Last month, he promised the film would be getting a digital transfer, and now a full blown release is on the way.

The Wrap reports that "Sorcerer" is getting a new recolored digital print and that the aim is to have this pristine new copy play the Venice Film Festival if the restoration can be done in time. "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 explained to the trade. He also adds the re-release will be "all media" as well.

A remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's near flawless “The Wages of Fear,” the film tells the story of four men given the task of transporting unstable dynamite through the South American jungle. At the time, the movie was considered a failure coming on the heels of the wildly successful "The Exorcist," but over time, it has grown in estimation, with many re-discovering the tense thriller, that features a pretty great score from Tangerine Dream. But aside from a DVD release in the early '90s, the movie has pretty much been MIA outside of rep screenings.

This is all pretty exciting stuff and Friedkin will have a full press release in about a week's time (not coincidentally, his memoir "The Friedkin Connection" drops on April 16th). A chance to see this up on the big screen again crisp and clear is tantalizing, but for those of you holding out for a Criterion release? Sorry, it ain't gonna happen.

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11 Comments

  • Northern Star | March 22, 2013 2:58 AMReply

    YES! YES! OH LORDY... YES!!! I've been waiting months for this news, roll on that lovely restored print on DVD with a rip-roarin' 'Hurricane' Billy Friedkin commentary... this is the only film this year I'm looking forward to seeing, which says it all for Hollywood these days!

  • yer | March 21, 2013 7:02 PMReply

    'I should remake one of the greatest films of all time.' - said no one ever. Stupid Friedklin, he was doomed from the start.

  • MDL | March 22, 2013 3:43 PM

    Sure, it is not as good as Wages of Fear but it's still pretty damn good.

  • hank | March 22, 2013 4:13 AM

    read "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" if you want to read some gossipy fiction. Amateur hour.

  • a | March 21, 2013 10:50 PM

    And Woody Allen dislikes ANNIE HALL and HANNAH AND HER SISTERS. What does that prove?

    Stop calling him "Friedklin."

  • yer | March 21, 2013 8:17 PM

    I have, even Friedklin admits it's a mess. Read 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls'. There's also a funny story about him meeting Clouzot in there as well.

  • a | March 21, 2013 7:49 PM

    Says the most consistently annoying commenter on this site.

    SORCERER is brilliant. Have you even seen it?

  • Des Brown | March 21, 2013 6:43 PMReply

    The film came out in 1977 not 1997 as stated in the article

  • Xian | March 21, 2013 6:24 PMReply

    Awesome!

  • Xian | March 21, 2013 6:24 PMReply

    Awesome!

  • El Hanso | March 21, 2013 6:19 PMReply

    Great news. Looking forward to this. International release, too, please. Yes?

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