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Page # 459

The French Connection
United States 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Screenplay: Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore
Producer: Philip D'Antoni, G. David Schine, Kenneth Utt
Cast: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi
Genre: Action, Thriller

Running Time: 104
Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 (NTSC Widescreen)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Svenska
Features: Commentary by William Friedkin, Gene Hackman, and Roy Scheider
Studio:  Schine-Moore Productions DVD Region:  1 R
DVD Release:  Feb 2005 Discs:  2 (Cloud) []
Reviews:  "William Friedkin's gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. An interesting contrast is established between 'Popeye' Doyle, a short-tempered alcoholic bigot who is nevertheless a hard-working and dedicated police officer, and his nemesis Alain Charnier, a suave and urbane gentleman who is nevertheless a criminal and one of the largest drug suppliers of pure heroin to North America. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed."

Friedkin's way of directing a film is astounding, to say the least. My favorite is "Sorcerer." but he did "The Exorcist" which frighten people enought that they threw up while watching it! Anyway, he did more than just film the action. He visualized it according to what he wanted to see on screen, so much so that he focused on areas that you have not thot of but later on, when you have finished viewing the film, it comes to you and tells a lot about the plot. I mean, even the musical score by Don Ellis is messed up musically, yet for a reason. That's Friedkin's style and that is why I like him.

Some reviwers have said that the first part of the film is slow. But that's the point of it. I see Popeye freezing in the city, his hands cold, his feet freezing, all to watch what could be a drug heist or a killer. Its a stake-out. All slow, but building up to a climax.

From Wikipedia...

"Edward Walter "Eddie" Egan (January 3, 1930 in New York City – November 4, 1995 in Miami, Florida) was a New York City Police Department detective whose exploits were the subject of a book and movie, both entitled The French Connection. He and his partner, Sonny Grosso, with other New York City Police Department detectives, broke up an organized crime ring in 1961, seizing 112 pounds of heroin, which was a record amount at the time. The investigation was the subject of a book by Robin Moore and the subsequent motion picture released in 1971.

The movie was highly fictionalized, and the character based on Egan, Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, was played by Gene Hackman who won an Academy Award for his performance (the film also won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Editing). The character was called "Popeye", because that was Egan's nickname in real life. Egan played a small role in the movie as Hackman's supervisor, Simonson. Egan and Grosso were also technical advisors. Hackman reprised this role in the sequel film French Connection II in 1975."

I knew that there was something true about this film. The film is "highly fictionalized," right? Well Sonny Grosso, who was player by Roy Scheider (star of "Jaws"), said in the documentary that it was 90% accurrate. Either way, an excellent film and deserved the Oscar for Best Picture that year.

Click on Title for International Movie Database link, click on Cover for Amazon link!

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