Here’s a brief excerpt from The Friedkin Connection (you all have a copy, right?), with William Friedkin covering the film’s title and where it came from —
“Our trucks were old M211 army vehicles. I asked John Box to name one of them Lazaro, but it took me a while to come up with the other name.
I was listening to an album by Miles Davis called Sorcerer, with driving rhythms and jagged horn solos that characterized Miles’s band in the late 1960s. We painted the word Sorcier (French for “Sorcerer”) on the other truck, and I later decided to call the film Sorcerer, an intentional but ill-advised reference to The Exorcist. The original title I’d proposed was Ballbreaker…”
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. We’ve heard some of these stories before, but no matter — it’s a great read.
UPDATE: After reading this in the book, I dug out my vinyl copy of the Miles record. I’d forgotten how good it is.