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>
According to William Friedkin, the significance of the straw hat being tossed onto the shelf of the rear window in Doyle and Russo's car was that at that time it was a universal signal in New York City that the undercover cops in the car were on duty. See more »
When the cars turn a corner during one of the car chases, we see a tape in the background closing off the street, and a policeman who is watching the shoot. See more »
"The French Connection" is an excellent film in every way imaginable. Gene Hackman (Oscar-winning) stars as a tough New York cop who is obsessed with stopping the flow of heroin into the city from France. Fernando Rey is perfect as the ring-leader of the smuggling. Tough, gritty, and realistic, "The French Connection" is an intense character-study that is never short on suspense or action. The film won five Oscars in 1971, including the Best Picture Oscar and one for William Friedkin's (only 32 at the time) intense direction. In a year that produced "The Last Picture Show" and "A Clockwork Orange", this film's win makes it even more impressive than it was nearly 30 years ago. Excellent. 5 stars out of 5.
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