Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of ... See full summary »
James L. Brooks
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. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The car chase was filmed without obtaining the proper permits from the city. Members of the NYPD's tactical force helped control traffic. But most of the control was achieved by the assistant directors with the help of off-duty NYPD officers, many of whom had been involved in the actual case. The assistant directors, under the supervision of Terence A. Donnelly, cleared traffic for approximately five blocks in each direction. Permission was given to literally control the traffic signals on those streets where they ran the chase car. Even so, in many instances, they illegally continued the chase into sections with no traffic control, where they actually had to evade real traffic and pedestrians. Many of the (near) collisions in the movie were therefore real and not planned (with the exception of the near-miss of the lady with the baby carriage, which was carefully rehearsed). A flashing police light was placed on top of the car to warn bystanders. A camera was mounted on the car's bumper for the shots from the car's point-of-view. Hackman did some of the driving but the extremely dangerous stunts were performed by Bill Hickman, with Friedkin filming from the backseat. Friedkin operated the camera himself because the other camera operators were married with children and he was not. See more »
When Henri and his associate are in the office at the police garage to get the Lincoln and talking to Randy, Henri's associate is smoking in a no smoking zone, but Randy doesn't ask him to put his cigarette out until Henri lights his. See more »
I just bought "The French Connection" DVD-box (must for anybody who appreciates fascinating old thriller classics) and I have to admit that even though I've seen this terrific film couple of times some years ago now I finally realized how stylish, impressive, brilliant and powerful movie it actually is. However personally I think that year Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "A Clockwork Orange" would have been a slightly better choice for the best picture Oscar but I guess in the end it was way too dubious at the time to win it.
If "The French Connection" was released today, nobody would be interested in it. In the early seventies this was something totally unique, nowadays this is of course a huge classic that shaped the form of all the upcoming cop thrillers but nothing we haven't seen before. Actually that's the biggest problem of the modern cinema, we've seen it all - there's nothing new filmmakers can offer us.
If you have your doubts about this film you just have to be patient and wait a while. Gene Hackman is having one of the finest performances of his career as Popey Doyle but the film starts out like just a thriller among others. The second half of "The French Connection" reveals why this movie has earned its numerous awards and reputation as one of the greatest cop flicks of the 1970's. Over 30 years later those chase scenes are still pure dynamite.
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