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French Connection [VHS]
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Product Description

William Friedkin's classic policier was propelled to box-office glory, and a fistful of Oscars, in 1972 by its pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking and fashionably cynical attitude toward law enforcement. Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle, a brutally pushy New York City narcotics detective, is a dauntless crime fighter and Vietnam-era "pig," a reckless vulgarian whose antics get innocent people killed. Loosely based upon an actual investigation that led to what was then the biggest heroin seizure in U.S. history, the picture traces the efforts of Doyle and his partner (Roy Scheider) to close the pipeline pumping Middle Eastern smack into the States through the French port of Marseilles. (The actual French Connection cops, Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, make cameo appearances.) It was widely recognized at the time that Friedkin had lifted a lot of his high-strung technique from the Costa-Gavras thrillers The Sleeping Car Murders and Z--he even imported one of Costa-Gavras's favorite thugs, Marcel Bozzuffi, to play the Euro-trash hit man plugged by Doyle in an elevated train station. There was an impressive official sequel in 1975, French Connection II, directed by John Frankenheimer, which took Popeye to the south of France and got him hooked on horse. A couple of semi-official spinoffs followed, The Seven-Ups, which elevated Scheider to the leading role, and Badge 373, with Robert Duvall stepping in as the pugnacious flatfoot. --David Chute

Customer Reviews:

  • The Quality of all DVD's are NOT the same.
    Unfortunately, This particular DVD was of such poor quality that I will have second thoughts about purchasing any DVD's in the future....more info
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Adapted from Robin Moore's fact-based novel, THE FRENCH CONNECTION was the breakthrough film for both direction William Friedkin, who later went on to direct THE EXORCIST, and Gene Hackman. Hackman stars in his Academy Award-winning role as "Popeye" Doyle, a New York City cop who, along with partner "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider), stumbles upon a drug ring headed by a Frenchman (Fernando Rey) who uses an innocent-seeming actor (Frederic de Pasquale) to cover the operation. Along with Hackman's forementioned award for "Best Actor", the film also took in Best Director for Friedkin; Best Film Editing; Best Writing (Ernest Tidyman) and a deserved Best Picture. The chase scenes are outstanding and some of the best ever filmed; Hackman is excellent in one of his greatest roles. Action fans won't want to pass this one by; followed by FRENCH CONNECTION II and a floppish TV movie....more info
  • They don't make them like this anymore
    A classic thriller with loads of international intrigue... other than Matt Damon in the Bourne movies, these thrillers are rare and of another era. Great to watch when you need intellectual excitement with political ramblings....more info
    Starting the gritty cop dramas to follow, THE FRENCH CONNECTION can only be describes in one word: Gritty. Before all the glamour that is the Hollywood blockbuster there was THE FRENCH CONNECTION. With no CGI or huge explosions how was this film ever great? during this review I'll tell you why THE FRENCH CONNECTION won 5 Academy Awards icluding Best Picture.

    For the starters the film is fast. It holds nothing back with it's quick chases and startling uncovering of the facts the movie is rlentless. It moves along at apace rarely seen anymore. The movie is only about an hour and 40 minutes. Before the story has started it's already done and you're left to figure it out. To have the audience believe that this is really happening the performance of Gene Hackman is truly top- notch. He's not a real complicated character and in the script he's written pretty straight forward but Hackman puts a twist, a lonely side to "Popeye" (his nickname in the movie that is typically looked over in the film's first viewing while most are just waiting for the famous car chase. The movie shows modern day problems that people have with the law including racism and Hackman's character chases down and beats a black guy for some intel. The movies shows that cops were just as crooked then to get what they wanted people just din't care. Popeye is an old fashioned cop who does what he has to, to get what he needs no matter the level of damage he creates in getting there.

    I read Roger Eberts review to see what he thought of the film and he says the story hardly matters in the film. I have a hard time taking a side in this debate. The movie' plot is sort of irrelevent in a way. The movie really needs no specific story for what it's trying to say. THE FRENCH CONNECTION is in no way light on story, it just takes a back seat to the unfolding of an unknown mystery of the characters and how far they will take or can take of dead ends and stakeouts.

    Director William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST) gives the film a fast pace with close ups and chases spread across the scenery of twisting New York. He keeps a certain pace of uncertainty of the line between good and bad just likes 2001' TRAINING DAY. Friedkin's job is not underrated because he won the Oscar but is truly unappreciated.

    THE FRENCH CONNECTION is unlike any other cop film ever! It never slows down not even to let you realize how many connections it truly has to modern day motifs of fear, uncertainty, and chaos just like it's main character....more info
  • classic movie on blu ray
    Good to see this masterpiece of a movie available on blu ray. The extra disc was great. the movie takes place where I grew up in Brooklyn. Gene Hackman is my favorite actor....more info
  • Amazing score
    Typical Don Ellis genius. Worth watching it for the music....more info
  • Bonus features are tip top.
    The bonus features are excellent!!! It's hard to believe this movie almost didn't get made. As for the actual movie blue ray continues to rock....more info
  • One of the greatest films ever made
    Even though there's nothing to say about this now 35-year-old masterpiece that hasn't been said by someone somewhere, I can't resist offering my opinion on the greatest cop movie ever made and, in all likelihood, one of the 10 best films ever made.

    How can a film be better than this one? It deservedly won five Oscars including best picture, best actor (Gene Hackman), its script and editing. Film editing is probably the most common downfall of a movie that is the least understood by the average filmgoer. aside from inane scriptwriting, it is editing that either turns individual scenes into something larger that its parts or robs those scenes of their vigor and value by misplacing them in the overall sequence of events.

    There are so many good things going on in this film -- the action, ultra-intelligent script based on a real life incident, the acting, the locations, the searing score using knife sharp high strings and bellowing lower strings, and William Friedkin's monumental direction that included the unplanned train chase scene that is now considered the greatest chase in film ("We didn't ask anyone for a permit," Friedkin said. "We just did it.") -- that it is somewhat foolhardy to identify one element as the key to this masterpiece. Still, I believe the editing is what transforms "French Connection" from five stars to masterpiece.

    I first saw this movie in 1971 during a matinee at an old big city theatre, now bulldozed, the kind of theatre that used to exist before malls took over the industry. While the chase scene was just as riveting then as now on the big screen, it was an earlier scene that more captivated me.

    In the second scene, Hackman and Scheider go to a drinking establishment where a Supremes-like trio is singing. The reality and scope of this scene far more overwhelmed me on the big screen than any other. It also happens to be the scene where the two cops first identify bad guy Tony LoBianco -- who followed his success in this film with a lot of appearances on the 1970s CBS cop show "Kojak" -- as an emerging kingpin throwing around money with some druggie hotshots.

    It probably isn't possible to explain to today's moviegoers what a drug kingpin was circa 1971. Drugs are so ingrained in our culture now, with kids regularly taking them to and selling them in school, that the profundity of such a scene in a film can no longer have the same meaning three and one-half decades later.

    The final scene, in the decrepit buildings on Riker's Island, is another ultrarealistic scene that puts the viewer at the scene of the crime and the ongoing melodrama. That inconclusive ending was true and commonplace for its period, a time when the "antihero" film was emerging. The popular cop films from the "Dirty Harry" series, as well as Charles Bronson's "Death Wish" films, were clearly influenced by the antihero aspects of the "The French Connection" cops and their futility.

    A cast note: Marcel Bozzuffi, the hitman character known as Pierre Nicoli in the film, played a different type of killer two years earlier in the remarkable 1969 French film "Z", a political thriller with much of "The French Connection"'s sizzling energy. And like this film, "Z" was also based on true events. Check this out next time you're in the mood for one of the better films of that era.

    Far from being a timepiece, this film is just as contemporary today as it was when it came out -- a time when there was no Internet, cell phones or cable television, there was only one American telephone company and gas cost about 30 cents a gallon. This film will always be among the handful of critics' short A-list movies and I'll continue to watch it at every opportunity. I suggest you take a look if you've never seen it. There will never be another quite like it....more info
  • ..."Too" Real For Blu Ray...
    I'm afraid I have to agree with other reviewers of this Blu Ray version of William Friedkin's masterpiece. It looks awful a large part of the time, which completely ruins the other times when it shines.

    Ironically, the problem lies in the film's strength - its gritty portrayal of New York and the drug culture taking a grip of it in the early Seventies. The Director wanted realism - not just in his actor's performances, but literally how their New York playground looked - so he went for that. Movements are blurry, alleyways are hazy, characters are observed from an out-of-focus distance (aping what Popeye Doyle sees) - everything's grimy and washed out - matching the film's down and dirty feel.

    Unfortunately when you get outside of the sunny Marseilles sequences and into the seedy bars and restaurants of the Big Apple - the Blu Ray picture resembles worn out videotape - it's really awful. Which is such a shame, because as you watch it again - but this time on the big screen - you realize what a blindingly fabulous film "The French Connection" is - and how it deserved so much better than this.

    In fairness to Fox, the opening credits are squeaky clean - no lines, no scuffs, nothing - no print remains that clean after 38 years, so some restoration has to have been done. Unfortunately when you get to the street action - instead of enhancing the watch - the Blu Ray only makes the deliberately grainy effect look even worse.

    Half way through it - I couldn't stand to look at it anymore - I turned it off...

    Unless you absolutely must own this, rent it first before wasting your hard-earned on yet another dog on this increasingly frustrating format...

    What a disappointment. ...more info
  • How about 8 Stars?? Five's Not Enough
    Most reviews here have just about covered the cinematic significance of this classic.
    In my opinion, it's Hackman's best work - and that's sayin' something, when you consider his stellar career.

    It's also refreshingly politically INcorrcect. It reminds me so much of my childhood in Highland Park, MI, during the Detroit Riots of 1967: Dirty neighborhoods, patroled by anal, head-knocking cops. In that sense, Hackman does an excellent portrayal.

    The film has been, and is in my top five, all-time....more info
  • A film involving the French which is good..
    This is a really enjoyable film thats relativly discreet (at times) in what it portrays i've watched it a number of times since buying the DVD and have enjoyed it every time i have seen it so far so what more can i say if you want a good well plotted film then this is one at the top of the scale....more info
  • The first film to go deep inside the perils of being a maniacal and sadistic narcotics cop...
    The dividing line between tough cops and mad mobsters is often so slim it could be inscribed on the rim of a steel-jacketed .45 bullet...

    When Gene Hackman, as Popeye Doyle is hot on the trail of that illegal load of heroin, he lets nothing and nobody get in his way... If one stands aside from the sheer excitement of the film and examines it dispassionately, it becomes apparent that here is ruthlessness which, under normal circumstances, would be regarded as the actions of a crazy man...

    Under the arches of the elevated railroad, the Doyle character drives a car like a character gone berserk; if the number of innocent bystanders sent flying and the total of wrecked cars were calculated, it might have been cheaper and more humane to let the villains - and the heroin - escape...

    But... it's only movies... While the picture's running it is not necessary to wonder whether all this mayhem is morally right or wrong... Indeed, it would be a sorry day for the entire thriller industry, both written and screened, if ever we did!

    This is a world of fantasy into which the audience is content to follow the action for less than two hours... There are the goodies and the baddies; the policeman may act like a baddie, but he's really on the side of the angels...

    The really tough cop is a comparatively new type of cinematic character... When the gangster film was young, so were the policemen... That detective of the 1930's, might have knocked a hoodlum or two around in self-defense, but would never have been so careless as to shoot a fellow cop through being too cynical or quick on the trigger... The New York film cop, of the 1930's would not have coldly broken a mobster's jaw, as Sterling Hayden did in "The Godfather." ...more info
  • Spinach or Omelets?
    To a significant extent, this film is based on a real-world situation in which hundreds of law enforcement officials worked for many months to locate and eliminate the connection between the source of heroin in France and its underworld contacts in the United States. As examined in Robin Moore's book, 112 pounds of heroin (with a then street value of about $90-million) were scheduled to arrived in the United States. Narcotics detectives Eddie ("Popeye") Egan and Sonny Grosso completed a lengthy investigation to learn who, when, where, how, etc. In the film, Hackman plays re-named Jimmy ("Popeye") Doyle and Roy Scheider plays his re-named partner Buddy Russo. (Both Eddie Eagan and Sonny Grosso have small parts in the film.) Other variations from the book are relatively insignificant. The situation remains essentially the same. The film carefully follows the extended and tedious period of surveillance which reveals the NYC source; preparations are then completed in anticipation of the shipment's arrival; finally, the connection is consummated and....

    Under William Friedkin's brilliant direction (which resulted in an Academy Award for him), this film weaves several separate but related plot threads, both within and beyond the United States, which involve criminal activities in meticulous coordination with efforts by law enforcement officials to respond to them. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of elegance and luxury in affluent (albeit criminal) society with the squalor and decay of the world within which the heroin will ultimately be distributed. I was also fascinated by the style and temperament of Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) who supervises the shipment in striking contrast with his principal adversary, Doyle, who resembles an enraged bear wearing ill-fitting hand-me-down men's clothing. (FYI, Hackman received an Academy Award for his performance.) Doyle becomes obsessed with destroying the French connection, no matter what. This is most evident during a car chase through the streets of New York which remains the most harrowing ever included in a film. (Even better than the car chase in Bullitt three years earlier? Yes.) All of the acting is outstanding as are the cinematography and editing. The Academy Award for best film was one of five received and each was well-deserved. It is probably impossible to measure accurately the nature and extent of this film's impact on subsequent films as well as on programs produced for television. Seeing it again recently, I was again struck by the fact that it has lost none of its "edge" and that Hackman's performance has even more power now than it did in 1971....more info

  • If you like this film you will love the DVD
    This DVD is a great collection of film and features that make it worth buying a DVD player. While you may and seen the movie over and over again, the documentaries that come with the DVD are thrilling as well. One feature lets you listening to the voice over of the director who talks about how he did the scenes while you watches the film. After listening to him, you understand much better all the details included in the film. The second CD has a BBC and a special docu about the background of the movie. I find it very interesting how careful the interviews with various participants of the film making (producer, director, actors) were cutted. The director Fridkin is a outgoing, very direct character while Hackham is just the opposite of what he played in the film. These docus proof that this was indeed a milestone in filmmaking....more info
  • 35 years later, still nothing like it
    There are many great old films that I've never seen, and I'm finally making up for lost time. I was 12 years old when this one came out, and just saw it for the first time. I'm truly amazed at the style in which it was filmed, and amazed that no one else has been able to duplicate it. In the first place, it's so gritty that you can feel it between your teeth. Subsequent cop dramas have reached this feel in different ways, but "The French Connection" is that rare film that doesn't feel like a film at all; it feels like the viewer is along for the ride, eavesdropping on the characters, and taking part in the action. Really remarkable.

    Gene Hackman's star-making role as Popeye Doyle is the dictionary definition of "unblinking," as this womanizing, racist, over-the-top violent slob pursues a hunch that leads to a huge drug bust, all while an unfriendly fellow detective reminds him often that one of his past hunches had led to the death of "a good cop." No detail is given, just as would not be given in a real-life situation. The willingness of the director and screenwriter to not overdo these little details is a joy to behold, while the pace and texture of the entire movie are perfect from start to finish.

    Anyone who likes action films but hasn't seen "The French Connection" owes it to him/herself to do so right away....more info
  • Popeye Doyle Makes The Show
    Voted as one of the top 10 films of all time, this DVD does not disappoint. Plenty of extra features, including some interesting film that did not make it into the final version, plus the great flick make this a must buy for serious film buffs.

    Hackman is perfect in the role, yet interestingly, according to the documentary, really struggled with some of the raw toughness that makes his performance so wonderful. Scheider is the perfect partner and Fernando Rey plays an excellent Frenchman....more info

  • Want a new kind of milkshake and a good movie?
    The French Connection is a very good movie that's a true classic. I loved it as did the Academy as it won 5 academy awards back when it was released in 1971:
    Best actor- Gene Hackman
    Best director- William Friedkin
    Best picture
    Best film editing
    Best adapted screenplay

    The movie is based on a true story involving drug trafficking. The story is that of two narcotics detectives in New York played by Gene Hackman (in his first academy award winning role) and Roy Scheider. They find someone suspicious so they wire him which leads them to "the frog" (frenchman). This frog has a mean bodyguard and they are from Marseille, in New York to sell drugs. But, since the detectives don't know this for sure, they follow them around. They need proof. I don't want to give away any spoilers but this is a must see. It has a classic chase, a huge stripping of a car, a mysterious white car, a bad encounter with a sniper, and a good ending.
    Gene Hackman was brilliant as a mean but good cop. He even dresses up as Santa Claus to get the job done. Hackman's has one classic line "wanna a milkshake?" where he mixes everyone's drugs together in a milkshake/ blender after making a bust.
    The movie will keep you fixated until the very end with the suspense, the humor, and the constant following of the frog. The 2 disc DVD set has many special features including trailers and deleted scenes. This is a must have for everyone's collection. ...more info
  • Another poor recreation of history
    As with most movies based on real life, this movie is a poor recreation of the original. The real French connection refers to a trans-Atlantic heroin trade with roots in the Cold War, organized crime and the CIA. The history begins in the 1950's. As the Iron Curtain descends on Eastern Europe, communist parties throughout the rest of Europe make gains in local and national politics. Their rise is most noticeable in France where they poll well in elections. In response, the US CIA allies itself with members of France's organized crime network to undermine the French communists in ways both illegal (by both French and American laws) and immoral. The CIA gets willing henchmen in France, and in exchange they turn a blind eye towards other illicit activities such as heroin smuggling. Some believe the CIA even aided the drug trade, but this is still a point of contention. The heroin smuggled from the Port of Marseilles arrives in East coast cities such as New York. One major effect is the corruption of the New York Police Department.

    This movie leaves out the CIA, the Cold War fight, and even the police corruption, and focuses solely on the contact and ensuing conflict between several of the heroin smugglers and two US cops, Buddy and Popeye. The former is careful, by-the-books, and honest. The latter is reckless, brutal, violent, and a womanizer. When released, this movie was groundbreaking in the level of violence involved, bad language, its depiction of police life and police officers (Popeye's character), and was probably the first major movie to revolve around the international drug trade. Watching it now in the 21st movie, the movie is quite boring. The dialog is meager in quantity and poor in quality. The violence is actually tame. The car chase scenes were soon surpassed in excitement by those in the Blues Brothers (1980). The character development is minimal and the portrayal of the criminal life is also minimal. Even the archetypal relationship between the reckless cop and the by-the-books cop has been recreated better in movies such as Training Day and Lethal Weapon. In fact, the movie seems to be one long series of gunfights between good guys and bad guys. It sure says a lot about movie quality back in the early 1970s if this movie could get so many Academy Awards. Not worth the time to watch it or the money to rent/buy it....more info
  • The French Connection
    This DVD was very disappointing because it was not the full movie. It ended in America with the Frenchman returning home. The movie was much longer with Popeye Doyle going to to Paris to follow up on the case. The most exciting and important conclusion of the film was deleted. ...more info
  • excellent movie, poor image quality
    The French Connection was and remains an immensely entertaining cops and drug smugglers film. The movie is probably best remembered for Gene Hackman's manic car chase, during which Hackman appears to be oblivious to both his own safety and that of the citizens of the densely populated city he is sworn to protect. However spectacular that scene may have been, it was far down the list of the film's best moments. These come, ironically, in the slower scenes, such as the unauthorized stakeout during which Popeye and his partner doggedly pursue evidence against a suspected small time drug dealer. All in all, the film is an excellent portrayal of the gritty, dirty world of drug law enforcement.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that the print quality of the blu-ray disk is virtually indistinguishable in most scenes from a standard definition DVD. Worse, in some places (Particularly the night and low light scenes)the added definition of blu-ray actually seems to emphasize the graininess and soft focus of the film. In short it's a great movie but an inferior blu-ray product....more info
  • "The Tuminaro Case"
    The Tuminaro Case. That is what the law enforcement community calls "the French Connection" case of 1968. Two rough-and-tumble NYPD Narcotics detectives named Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso stumbled on a heroin-smuggling ring which spanned the Atlantic and linked the New York Mafia with a French mob operating out of Marsailles, which, if you are not familiar with it, is a great port city in the Mediterranean famous for, among other things, being a stop on the great heroin pipeline between Turkey, Siciily, Corsica, Continental Europe, and the Big Apple. This discovery was the birth of the understanding that the heroin trade was big international business, being conducted on a breathtaking scale, and the efforts of local cops and a few federal agents to stop it by busting junkies and street dealers was as ludicrous as handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.
    In the end, somewhere between 100 - 300 kilos of pure heroin were seized, the ring was smashed, two cops sprung to fame by making the big case ("Went through The Door", in NYPD Narc lexicon), and the soon-to-be legendary NYPD Special Investigations Unit was created. But at what cost, and to what end?

    This is what the film version of "The French Connection" examines, changing the names of the players (to Popeye Doyle, played by the great Gene Hackman, and Cloudy Russo, played by the criminally underrated Roy Schieder, respectively) but leaving the basic facts of the story intact. Very few movies have attempted to show the methodology and mind-set of Narc detectives without either glamorizing them or apologizing for them; "TFC" does neither. Doyle is a truly disgusting human being, but a [darn] good cop. He has the ego, the spleen, the recklessness, and the obsessive won't-let-go mentality of a pit bull, which more or less typefied the Narcs of the pre-Knapp Comission years. If you want a cop like Doyle off your case, you pretty much have to kill him. And if you try, don't miss.

    The SIU, an elite branch of the Narcotics Division, was born during this investigation. No police unit in history probably bagged more hard drugs, busted more big-name dealers, or wrought such havoc with the drug trade in the Big Apple. On the other hand, no police unit in history ever broke so many laws doing it:
    the tactics used by Doyle and Russo in "TFC" became standard procedure for the SIU: Illegal wiretaps. Shakedowns. Theft of money. Distribution of heroin to informants. Perjury. Extortion. Entrapment. You name it, they did it, and operated with virtually no supervision for about ten years before another famous cop, Bob Leuici, who got his own movie ("Prince of the City") brought down the house by exposing its inherent corruption. About seventy detectives served in SUI and of them, more than fifty ended up being indicted, and most went to prison. A number killed themselves. In a moment of true irony, several SIU detectives were fingered in the theft of 300 pounds of heroin from the police evidence lockup. The heroin in question was the evidence seized by Egan and Grosso in the Tuminaro Case. So in the end, it was largely for nothing. The H hit the street anyway.

    I read some review of this film which question its morality, its supposed affirmantion of the 'war on drugs' and even liken "Connection" to the Nazi propiganda film "Triumph of the Will" because it seems to endorse the ends-justifying-tactics of Doyle and Russo. These people are missing the point entirely. The French Connection is not politicized fiction, like "Blow." It is a real case, the detectives were real people, and these were the real methods they used to crack it. The scene where Hackman chases his would-be assassin all across New York, endangering the lives of about 100 people in the process, says more than any dialogue could about his personality. In other words, this movie isn't about the drug trade, it's about the cops who fight it.

    "TFC" is NOT an endorsement of the war on drugs; it simply lays out what happened here in a dramatized fashion. Like all great movies, it does not tell the viewer what to think but allows him/her to come to his own conclusion. And by the way, the movie most certainly DOES imply that the drug war, or at least this particular battle in it, was futile. The 'what happened to them' blurbs at the end of the film demonstrate this in no uncertain terms.

    Looking back I see this is not a proper review of the film but more of a rant. ...

    I'm through venting. Sorry. I'll make up for it with this: "The French Connection" is a great crime drama, brilliantly acted, superbly directed, and deserves every bit of its reputation as one of the greatest films of all time. I'm going to buy it on DVD today....more info

  • An engaging and entertaining, yet standard, classic...
    I do like this movie, in fact I think it is very well done and very entertaining, but in the end I must admit that this is far from a brilliant movie. It is an effective police thriller that never really transcends the boundaries of the genre and this becomes rather generic when you think about it. The performances are good, but not great, and as much as I love Gene Hackman I must admit that this is a far cry from his best performance (look to his 1988 work in `Mississippi Burning' for a more fleshed out and human portrait of a conflicted lawman).

    The movie concerns two detectives, Jimmy Doyle and Buddy Russo, who are struggling to tie up the lose ends in a drug ring; the French connection spoken of in the title referring to the Marseilles port through which the drugs are making their way stateside. Doyle and Russo are two very different cops with two very different ways of handling their jobs, and as the pressure mounts we can see Doyle boil over until his actions are speaking much louder than his words.

    It is tense in scenes, and then car chase scenes are ridiculously brilliant, but in the end I can't get around the fact that this is not the movie it is touted as.

    I will say this; William Friedkin does a brilliant job of creating an engrossing and fast paced thriller that will always keep you glued to the screen. Even when the film feels unoriginal and rather redundant it is still captivating thanks to Friedkin's stellar camera work. He's a dynamic director, and while this is not his best work (I found him utterly flawless in `The Exorcist' and all sorts of fantastic in `Bug') he has an unforgettable style that will keep your attention. The script is nothing fantastic or truly memorable, but it works for what it is trying to be.

    I understand that this served as a foundation for better police thrillers to come, so don't think I'm knocking it's `classic' status, I'm just pointing out the fact that it has not aged as gracefully as it could have. Especially when you consider this according to today's standards you see that this is a very `by the books' thriller that takes little leeway to become something revolutionary.

    The performances are stable, but nothing more. Both Hackman and Roy Scheider received Oscar nominations; Hackman going on to win the gold, but in all honesty I wouldn't have nominated either of them. Scheider delivers a very hollow performance, beings that the film isn't really interested in him as a character. He is merely there to represent a polar opposite to Hackman. At least Hackman does `something' with his performance, but even he doesn't really do much. He is merely a gimmick; a thin fabrication of what the `crooked cop' character is supposed to look like; but he really has no meat on those bones. There is a back story there, but it rarely makes it to the surface.

    Again, I like this movie, and I watch it frequently because it is so engaging; but I have to be honest and point out the fact that it is rather hollow and no where near what it could have been. I give it a B, and I do recommend it, but I recommend it with reservations. I will not pimp this as cinematic brilliance; because quite frankly, it's not....more info
  • The French Connection
    Gene Hackman's electrifying performance as Popeye Doyle won him an Oscar and transformed him from supporting player to star. Shot verit¨¦-style by William Friedkin, this spellbinding movie evokes the slightly fraying quality of New York thirty years ago, when a fiscal crisis loomed. This only adds to the grit and edginess of this intense film, without question one of the best cop movies ever....more info
  • Cinematic Masterpiece
    A fresh-faced Gene Hackman picked up one of this movie's five Oscars way back in 1971. As with music, this movie is evidence if any is needed, that good art doesn't grow old and this crime drama is one of the most influential movies of a decade that was choc-a-bloc with good American cinema.

    Hackman plays a ruthless and unscrupulous New York cop "Popeye" Doyle, who's out to bust a drugs ring operating between France and the United States. Doyle's partner Buddy Russo, is ably played by Roy Scheider and the chemistry between the gung-ho Doyle and the more circumspect Russo is something to see. Doyle was apparently based on a real-life detective, Eddie Egan, who, with his partner Sonny Grosso, seized $32 million worth of heroin in 1961. A record at the time.

    The language is colourful, as one would expect perhaps from a movie of that era, (not least when Doyle is squeezing the African American brothers for information) and there is violence. The movie is shot on location in New York City, Marseille and Washington D.C. and the urban landscapes gives that added realistic and gritty edge to the proceedings. We get to see the mundane and non-glamorous side of real police work.

    This is a classic cat and mouse chase between the good and bad guys and Fernando Rey plays the part of the smooth Frenchman Alain Charnier, perfectly. This is a five star classic crime caper, without a doubt. A genuine urban thriller.

    Loads of extras on this special edition DVD, including a documentary called "Making The Connection: The Untold Stories of The French Connection", deleted scenes, a featurette with director William Friedkin discussin the deleted scenes and still galleries.
    ...more info
  • Where did Gene get that great hat?
    Ooooooooh those Frenchie are at it again. You can smell the hairy ladies armpits in this film as a cop notices a huge drug operation happening right under his nose! First time I saw this film was on the History channel since the film is based on true characters and a true story and it was right into the car chasing the subway train. I was locked and never blinked watching this unbelievable chase. I found the title out now I have a copy and I love this movie more. It is a good crime story but I suggest getting the sequel collectors box set which is just two movies if you don't like being put into a state of total inconclusion! The movie is good overall and after all these years even a nunce like me can watch it and enjoy it....more info
  • Good movie
    I was only 14 when this movie came out. I did see it either as a teenager or in my twenties. To be honest, it's as difficult to keep track of now as then.

    I think we all know what it's about and if not look elsewhere online. What I noticed was this wasn't a film aimed at my generation (Baby Boomer). It was for middle age people at that time tired of what they perceived as permissiveness. These guys were cracking down on drugs coming into our country. This movie came out when Nixon's modern-day "War on Drugs" began in 1971. Personally, I think it was a waste of time and money. Even in this film (fiction), nobody served in real time. Four years was the maxim given to one out of several people they were after.

    One odd thing I noticed was Popeye Doyle's hat. He wore a pork pie. My dad wore a fedora until sometime in the '80s (he was born 1910). Men started to stop wearing hats when Kennedy came into office because he didn't were one. This film was made at a time men's hats were almost out of vogue. I noticed that men wearing them were at least 40, most closer to 50.
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  • if i had thumbs i'd raise em
    this is one of the few movies that escaped alive from the 70's rut, i still think the decade was a waste. but this movie keeps a good hold on the story and doesn't let go. obviously styles and stuff "you!" "talkin to me baby?" but if your a true fan of film it shouldn't bother you....more info