Hazmat Movie Night: The Wages of Fear (1953)

Posted on 9/24/2018 by Roger Marks

shutterstock_604261466.jpgWe don’t get into pop culture too often here at Lion News, we’re mostly too busy studying the CFR, State regulations, and the Federal Register for updates that impact industry professionals. But this week, we saw a classic movie that we think hazardous materials professionals will relate to and enjoy.

The Wages of Fear (1953) centers around a team of drivers who sign on to transport nitroglycerine for a local oil and gas company.

Despite treacherous road conditions and dubious infrastructure, these brave but inexperienced drivers carefully load two trucks with 100 gallons of nitroglycerine each. The second half of the movie makes for a thrilling journey as we watch these men struggle to make the delivery safely and in time to avert a disaster.


Hazmat Training in The Wages of Fear

We’re not exactly sure what qualified as “hazmat training” in 1953. After all, the Hazardous Materials Transportation Control Act (and later the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA)) wouldn’t become US law until the 70s, and the hazmat training standard we know today wasn’t in place until the 1990s.

The hazmat training shown in this film consists of a room full of potential drivers, none of whom are wearing any form of personal protective equipment, watching a “manager” pour a drop of nitroglycerine onto the floor, which causes a loud explosion. The “new hires” are told in no uncertain terms that the chemical is very dangerous and that even that a bump in the road could have fatal consequences. 

That’s better than nothing, we suppose.

A French and Italian film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Yves Montand, The Wages of Fear won the Grand Prize at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival and was chosen as Best Film by the British Film Academy in 1954.

Criterion, a cataloger of classic cinema, has released a full original cut of the movie, and you can read more about the film’s plot and themes on Criterion’s website.

Here’s the trailer:

Tags: dangerous, goods, hazardous materials, hazmat, hazmat shipping, movies

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The course was very well structured and covered the material in a clear, concise manner.

Ian Martinez

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor had knowledge of regulations and understanding of real-world situations. The presentation style was engaging and fostered a positive atmosphere for information sharing.

Linda Arlen

Safety & Environmental Compliance Officer

The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.

Tom Berndt

HSE Coordinator

I have attended other training providers, but Lion is best. Lion is king of the hazmat jungle!!!

Henry Watkins

Hazardous Waste Technician

The instructor made the class enjoyable. He presented in a very knowledgeable, personable manner. Best class I've ever attended. Will take one again.

John Nekoloff

Environmental Compliance Manager

Lion was very extensive. There was a lot of things that were covered that were actually pertaining to what I do and work with. Great Job. I will be coming back in three years!

Tony Petrik

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor does a great job at presenting material in an approachable way. I have been able to save my company about $30,000 in the last year with what I have learned from Lion!

Curtis Ahonen

EHS&S Manager

The instructor clearly enjoys his job and transmits that enthusiasm. He made a dry subject very interesting and fun.

Teresa Arellanes

EHS Manager

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

My experience with Lion classes has always been good. Lion Technology always covers the EPA requirements I must follow.

Steven Erlandson

Environmental Coordinator

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Tips to identify and manage universal waste under more-stringent state regulations for generators and universal waste handlers in California.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.