Movietone News’ 1977 review of Sorcerer, and a 2010 reappraisal.

Back in September of 1977, Robert C. Cumbow of Movietone News slammed Sorcerer, ragging on everything from the editing to Friedkin’s camera placement to “the director’s refusal to get close to his characters.” The review’s listing of the cast and crew was the only thing in it I could agree with.

What’s very interesting is that when it came time to put this issue on the Parallax View website, Cumbow added a “2010 Afterward,” explaining how he has since some to love the film. “Over the years, Sorcerer has come to impress me more and more, and as I now read with embarrassment this initial reaction I had to it…”

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About Toby

I'm a writer. And a dad. And a husband. And a record collector. And a movie geek (if the movies are old). And I really wish I had a hot rod.
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2 Responses to Movietone News’ 1977 review of Sorcerer, and a 2010 reappraisal.

  1. Thanks for being fair. I reviewed a lot of films during the 70s and 80s, and stick by my comments on most of them. I missed the boat on SORCERER, and am not sure why, but for the past 15 years or so I have come to think it’s a pretty fine film, in many ways better than the Clouzot original.

    • Toby says:

      First, thanks for your comment. I’m a big fan of Parallax View, especially the Budd Boetticher stuff, and stoked that you stopped by.

      While I completely disagreed with your original review of Sorcerer — it’s pretty obvious that I’m biased when it comes to this movie, I really enjoyed thinking through a lot of your points. Your mention of the cutaway after the truck tires bite at the end of the bridge sequence made me pull out the film (and after watching that shot, what the hell, I watched the whole thing). That’s what I like about film criticism: whether you agree about the movie or not, at its best it can make you come at a film from a different angle. You did that.

      Of course, I’m so happy that you’ve “came around.” Welcome to the club, we’re glad you’re here. (If only it’d been my evangelizing that did the trick!)

      I’ve missed the boat on lots of films — and really liked some that now make my eyes bleed. It’s to your credit that you continued to give Sorcerer a shot.

      Again, thanks for paying us a visit. (Love the Pike Bishop avatar.)

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