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>
My favorite movie of all time "A Clockwork Orange" lost at the best picture Acadamy Award ceremony against this movie. However looking at this movie I can't say that it's undeserved, for "The French Connection" truly is one of the best movies from at least the seventies and maybe of all time. It most certainly is the best cop movie ever made, in my opinion!
The movie has a perfect gritty and realistic kind of atmosphere and an unmistakably seventies feeling. I love it! The seventies truly were the golden age of film making and they simply don't make movies like this anymore.
The characters are perfectly realistic and director William Friedkin and the actors most certainly don't attempt to portray them as being heroic or 'good cops'. Gene Hackman really in a way is an anti-hero and he seems to be born to play 'Popeye' Doyle, who by now truly has grown into a classic movie character. Roy Scheider also is really great as his partner 'Cloudy' Russo, even though his character at times disappears too long out of the story. A shame because he and Hackman were a perfect screen duo. Both got an Oscar nomination but only Hackman got to take the statue home with him. The movie also won Oscar's for best director, best film editing, best picture and best writing, screenplay based on material from another medium and got nominated for three more.
The movie might have a slow pace by today's standards but the wonderful story and acting really make up for this, "The French Connection" has stand the test of time well. The slow pace even makes the famous car chase scene even more energetic and thrilling enough to make your adrenaline run.
Truly in my opinion, the ultimate cop movie!
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