A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
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>
William Friedkin has said the chase scene was shot entirely out of sequence, and over a period of five weeks. It did not involve solid day-to-day shooting, and all of the shooting was confined between the hours of 10am- 3pm. One reason was that they were given permission to use only one particular Brooklyn line, the Stillwell Avenue, running from Coney Island into Manhattan (the West End line). The entire chase was shot with an Arriflex camera, as was most of the picture. One brief shot, where Doyle's car slams into the fence, was filmed in Ridgewood under the Myrtle Ave., or M, line. See more »
When Popeye is entering the building with the sniper on the roof, the same audio of people talking can be heard twice in a row. "Oh yeah, there must be a sniper on the roof"....."There is one." 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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