William Friedkin’s Remastered “Sorcerer” Blu-ray Scores Solid Success

(April 30, 2014 – Burbank, CA) – Due to the overwhelmingly positive reception of the remastered William Friedkin 1977 cult suspense thriller “Sorcerer,” Warner Bros. Home Entertainment plans to make the title available in a remastered DVD version on June 10 and as a Digital Download on August 5. The fully restored “Sorcerer” gained instant success after its release last week. Critics raved, and the title reached #1 in Drama and # 2 in Action/Adventure in’s Movies & TV category. WBHE’s Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog commented, “‘Sorcerer’ is a visually remarkable film that warranted a Blu-ray HD release. The intensity and sheer drama explode in HD. Now, due to the popular response, we are delighted to make it available to a wider audience via these two new platforms.” Here is what some of the critics are saying: Entertainment Weekly put it on the magazine’s “Must List,” noting “it has never looked better in its beautiful Blu-ray remastering,” while the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan designated “Sorcerer” as a “DVD Pick of The Week.” Adam Tyner of wrote, “Very Highly Recommended! Unnervingly and unrelentingly suspenseful. A hell of a thriller, ‘Sorcerer’ remains a largely undiscovered treasure. At long last, we have one of the most masterful and criminally overlooked films from the 1970s on Blu-ray and can now experience this exceptional, daring film with the sort of presentation it so richly deserves.” Ain't It Cool News’ Harry Knowles noted, “‘Sorcerer’ that you see before you is not ever what has been in cinemas till now. William Friedkin personally oversaw the restoration and sound work for this spectacular presentation of what I consider to be one of the many masterpieces of William Friedkin.” ET Online’s David Weiner said, “William Friedkin's overlooked '70s masterpiece ‘Sorcerer’ is back, remastered and looking amazing for the first time on Blu-ray this week.” This July, Friedkin will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Friedkin will present a showing of “Sorcerer” at the Festival, held annually for nine days in the Czechoslovakian spa town of Karlovy Vary. Friedkin commented, “For a 37-year-old film that originally failed, this is not simply a credit to the film, it's a credit to Warner Bros. Entertainment and our very successful collaboration.” The “Sorcerer” remastering was done by Warner Bros., under Friedkin’s supervision, along with colorist Bryan McMahan who has worked with the director since 1994. "The new restoration makes the film appear as if it was just made. None of the essentials — the clothes, the hair — are dated in any way. It looks the way it looked to me when I looked through the lens of the camera," said Friedkin. The restoration began with a 4K film resolution scan of the original 35mm camera negative. Ned Price, Chief Preservation Officer of Warner Bros. Technical Operations, who oversees restoration projects for the studio, said, “I was amazed at the brilliance of the original photography. Up to this point, I had only seen poor quality 35mm theatrical prints made from inferior subtitled dupe negatives. Working from the 4K scan allowed us to free up all the information contained in the original negatives. The soundtrack was restored from the original 35mm 4-track stereo masters which were in remarkably good condition and contained full dynamic range.” Over the years, awareness of the film has been steadily building as a result of Friedkin fan requests and newly-found praise from critics. Then last year, the director was asked to introduce “Sorcerer” for its screening at the Venice 70th International Film Festival where he was presented with the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement. Friedkin will also be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Danish Film Academy in April during the CHP PIX Film Festival in Copenhagen. Friedkin is the first non-Danish filmmaker to be given this honor. “I have a great fondness for ‘Sorcerer,’ more than any other film I’ve made. ‘Sorcerer’ is the one I hope to be remembered for and the one film that came closest to my vision,” said Friedkin. “Sorcerer” tells the story of four men who, for various reasons, cannot return to their own countries and end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin through 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four displaced men have nothing to lose so they agree for a small payment of cash. Roy Scheider (“Jaws”), Bruno Cremer (“Under the Sun”), Francisco Rabal (“Dagon”) and Amidou (“Ronin”) star in “Sorcerer” which Friedkin directed from a Walon Green (“The Wild Bunch”) screenplay. The haunting music was the first credit for Tangerine Dream, the German electronic experimental band who went on to provide many successful scores for such films as “Risky Business,” “VisionQuest” and “Catch Me if You Can.” About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through and WBUltra.