French Connection (DVD)
- R 60
'Popeye' Doyle (an Academy Award-winning Gene Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) are tough New York cops attempting to crack a drug smuggling ring. They have a small candy store under surveillance, but Doyle is not happy when he receives the order to work with a pair of French federal agents on the case, one of whom he has a long-standing feud with. Gene Hackman and director William Friedkin both earned Academy Awards for the film, which also took Best Picture.
- Movies & TV
- 5 Jul 2004
- Region 2
- Interactive Menus
- Enhanced WS tv
- Bonus Footage
- Commentary: William Friedkin (Director). Gene Hackman. Roy Scheider
- 99 min
- Age Restriction
- Supply Source
- South Africa
- French Connection
- Release Year
- Running Time
- 104 min
- Alternate Title
- Filiere Francaise
- Action/Adventure / Action / Cops / Crime / Drugs / Essential Cinema / New York City / Police / Recommended / Theatrical Release / Thieves
- Released in the same year as Clint Eastwood's DIRTY HARRY (1971), William Friedkin's THE FRENCH CONNECTION marked the beginning of a new era of gritty, urban police dramas. Here, the theme of tough-cop amorality serves a conservative demand for a police-state crackdown on the domestic chaos and subversive youth culture of the Vietnam War period.
The film is based on the true story of two New York City police detectives and their investigation into a French heroin smuggling operation. THE FRENCH CONNECTION is perhaps best known for its infamous, masterfully filmed chase scene (influenced by Peter Yates' BULLITT) in which the lead policeman, Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman), recklessly drives a stolen car through oncoming traffic in pursuit of a sniper escaping by elevated train. The thrill of this crime drama is accentuated by director William Friedkin's early European influences, perhaps best represented by the handheld documentary-style visuals and Friedkin's claims that the Oscar-winning screenplay was frequently disregarded in favor of improvisation. THE FRENCH CONNECTION marked not only a significant change of course for his career, but also a stylistic shift that all of Hollywood would soon follow.
- Theatrical release: October 9, 1971
Based on events that occurred in 1961.
Shot almost entirely on location in New York City, and briefly in Marseilles, France.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION is number 70 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
People were allegedly injured during the filming of the famous chase scene.
Friedkin is rumored to have shot parts of the chase scene himself.
- Cast & Crew
- William Friedkin
- Gene Hackman / Marcel Bozzufi / Frederic de Pasquale / Harold Gary / Sonny Grosso / Bill Hickman / Tony Lo Bianco / Ann Rebbot / Fernando Rey / Roy Scheider
- Ernest Tidyman
- Don Ellis
- Philip D'Antoni
- Director of Photography
- Owen Roizman
- Jerry Greenberg
- Production Designer
- Ben Kazaskow
- Movie Critics
- Entertainment Weekly
- "...To watch it now is to appreciate more than ever Gene Hackman's uncompromising talent..."— Mark Harris (28 Sep 2001, p.56)
- New York Times
- "THE FRENCH CONNECTION offered a rush of sights and sounds, sweeping the viewer along in a visceral experience."— Dave Kehr (22 Oct 2010, )
- "William Friedkin brings a new documentary-style grittiness and moral ambiguity to the crime thriller."— Premiere Staff (1 Dec 2003, p.11)
- Total Film
- "[With] the Greatest Car Chase Ever Filmed."— Daniel Webb (1 Apr 2004, p.136)
- USA Today
- "...A best-picture Oscar that really holds up..."— Mike Clark (28 Sep 2001, p.5E)