IMDb > The French Connection (1971)
The French Connection
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The French Connection (1971) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 59 | slideshow) Videos (see all 9)
The French Connection -- A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.
The French Connection -- Detectives Doyle and Russo shakedown a bar where they have an informant.
The French Connection -- Interview: Gene Hackman "on filming the car scene"
The French Connection -- Detective Russo goes to Popeye's apartment and finds him handcuffed to his bed.
The French Connection -- The detectives find drugs hidden in the rocker panels of a car.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   64,270 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ernest Tidyman (screenplay)
Robin Moore (based on the book by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The French Connection on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 October 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The time is just right for an out and out thriller like this. See more »
Plot:
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 5 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Slow, but worth it. See more (261 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gene Hackman ... Jimmy Doyle

Fernando Rey ... Alain Charnier

Roy Scheider ... Buddy Russo

Tony Lo Bianco ... Sal Boca
Marcel Bozzuffi ... Pierre Nicoli
Frédéric de Pasquale ... Devereaux (as Frederic De Pasquale)

Bill Hickman ... Mulderig
Ann Rebbot ... Marie Charnier
Harold Gary ... Weinstock
Arlene Farber ... Angie Boca
Eddie Egan ... Simonson
André Ernotte ... La Valle (as Andre Ernotte)

Sonny Grosso ... Klein
Benny Marino ... Lou Boca
Patrick McDermott ... Chemist (as Pat McDermott)
Alan Weeks ... Pusher
Al Fann ... Informant
Irving Abrahams ... Police Mechanic
Randy Jurgensen ... Police Sergeant
William Coke ... Motorman
The Three Degrees ... The Three Degrees
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Adonis ... Bidder at New York Car Auction (uncredited)
Gilda Albertoni ... Uncredited (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Man (uncredited)
Rhina Ferrari ... Woman at Airport (uncredited)
Sarina C. Grant ... Hooker on the Street (uncredited)
Joe Lo Grippo ... Tollbooth Collector (uncredited)
Melonie Haller ... Schoolgirl (uncredited)
Eric Jones ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Charles McGregor ... Baldy - Bar Patron in Drug Raid (uncredited)
Lora Mitchell ... Woman with Baby Carriage (uncredited)

Maureen Mooney ... Bicycle Girl (uncredited)
Silvano Nolemi ... Dock Worker (uncredited)
Burt Richards ... Auction Bidder (uncredited)
Fat Thomas ... Mutchie (uncredited)
Robert Weil ... Auctioneer (uncredited)
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Directed by
William Friedkin 
 
Writing credits
Ernest Tidyman (screenplay)

Robin Moore (based on the book by)

Howard Hawks  uncredited

Produced by
Philip D'Antoni .... producer
G. David Schine .... executive producer
Kenneth Utt .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Don Ellis (music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Owen Roizman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Gerald B. Greenberg (film editor) (as Jerry Greenberg)
 
Casting by
Robert Weiner (casting)
 
Art Direction by
Ben Kasazkow  (as Ben Kazaskow)
 
Set Decoration by
Edward Garzero  (as Ed Garzero)
 
Costume Design by
Joseph Fretwell III (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Paul Ganapoler .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terence A. Donnelly .... assistant director (as Terry Donnelly)
William C. Gerrity .... assistant director
Ron Walsh .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Dwight Williams .... dga trainee (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Thomas Wright .... property master (as Tom Wright)
 
Sound Department
Christopher Newman .... sound (as Chris Newman)
Theodore Soderberg .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Sass Bedig .... special effects
 
Stunts
Bill Hickman .... stunt coordinator
Cliff Cudney .... stunts (uncredited)
George Fisher .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Hickman .... stunt double: Gene Hackman (uncredited)
Bill Hickman .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Pronto .... stunts (uncredited)
Alex Stevens .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Summers .... stunt driver (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Enrique Bravo .... camera operator
Robert Ward .... key grip
William Ward .... chief electrician (as Billy Ward)
Sandy Brooke .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Gary Muller .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Tom Priestley Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joseph W. Dehn .... wardrobe
Florence Foy .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Norman Gay .... associate editor
Brent Eldridge .... colorist (digital color correction) (uncredited)
Maurice Schell .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Don Ellis .... music conducted by
Gene Cipriano .... musician (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Eddie Egan .... technical consultant
Sonny Grosso .... technical consultant
Nicholas Sgarro .... script supervisor (as Nick Sgarro)
Fat Thomas .... location consultant
Sue Dwiggins .... production secretary (uncredited)
Monroe Friedman .... unit publicist (uncredited)
James O'Neill .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Ralph S. Singleton .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) | 4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:18 (original rating) | Argentina:13 (re-rating) | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (special edition) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia/Ontario) (original rating) | Canada:AA (Ontario) (special edition) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:18A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Italy:T | Norway:18 | Norway:16 (1972) | Peru:18 | Philippines:R-18 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) | USA:R (PCA #23054) | West Germany:16 (bw)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Film Programme Nov 2008, William Friedkin said that Paul Newman was another top choice of his to play Popeye Doyle, but producers had said that he was well out of their budget.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Popeye Doyle creeps alongside the building below the sniper his gun can be seen jumping hands between shots.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle:Merry Christmas. What's your name, little boy?
Little Boy:Eric.
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle:Uh-huh, Eric. What do you want for Christmas Eric? Hmmm?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Jingle BellsSee more »

FAQ

What does Popeye mean when he calls Charnier "Frog One"?
Why does Popeye keep hammering Willy with the "pick your feet Poughkeepsie" line?
How did they put the car back together so fast after ripping it apart?
See more »
82 out of 107 people found the following review useful.
Slow, but worth it., 19 September 2002
Author: (Bastian Balthazar Bux) from Iowa City, IA

The French Connection is number seventy on the AFI's list of top 100 movies, right before Forrest Gump. But why is it known as such a great film? Why did it win Best Picture at the 1971 Academy Awards? Why was it so important?

The French Connection was made in 1971, starring a then 41-year-old Gene Hackman in the lead, and directed by William Friedkin, who started his directing career with `Alfred Hitchcock Presents' in 1955. The film follows an aging but truculent `bad-boy' police officer Popeye Doyle and his slightly kinder partner (Roy Schneider) in their journey to bust a drug-smuggling ring of French origin. The movie itself is basically one big chase scene, following Popeye on his cat and mouse game of catch the crook.

The film has been classified as both an action and drama movie. Both are right, in their own way. The film at its core is a tense, slow-moving thriller, dramatic in its musical score and over-acted brutality. Scenes are left to their own devices, moving forth indeterminately, in a very drama-characteristic fashion. However, there's plenty of chasing and violence to satisfy an `action' classification. This action, however, is played so that it's less about the adrenaline rush (so common in today's big-budget action flicks), and more about that tense underlying heartbeat. The style of the film then, is a very paced and dingy chase scene. By today's post-Matrix standards, the film is slow. But in its own way, it's subterrainiously charged.

The camera is mastered by cinematographer Owen Roizman, whose previous film, Stop, is essentially unheard of, and who went on to make The Exorcist with Friedkin two years later. Shots are varied. There are handheld shots of the streets, coupled with static medium wide, along with crane shots, along with close-ups and wide shots. And even though the shots are extremely eclectic, one common theme shines through-realism. Every shot composed is just a little bit shaky, a little bit unclean. There's no truly innovative lighting used, simply that yellow coarse light that everything is eternally bathed in. It succeeds in making the movie that much more tangible to the eye. The mood created within is one of belief. You can believe the movie, because it's shot in such a rugged manner. The car scenes, filmed at night, use the same technique; red and white car lights with a subtlety lit car. It is clear that the film Taxi Driver, made 5 years later, contained car shots obviously influenced by the ones in The French Connection. Furthermore, actors' faces are lit without any superfluous shine or luster-they are simply real human faces, and are not hyped up. This influenced cinema in the way that it brings the mood and story above the actors' egos.

The editing, done by Gerald Greenberg, is, in the same manner, very real. Characteristic of films made pre-computer based editing, shots are held for longer periods of time, and not as many cuts are used. The editing is almost unnoticeable, because it seems to pass by so soft, especially during dialog. However, conversely, it cuts much more often (but never frantically) during action sequences, like the bar roust or the car chase under the train tracks. But still, drama is tensed out by holding shots long during action sequences, and it works. But this never comes to fault. The few times when quick cuts are needed, they are used, such as the train crash. In general though, the editing satisfies the mood of the film.

It is said that silence is golden, and in The French Connection, it seems to be just as valuable. While the tense, stringy score (by Don Ellis) is important to the film in some aspects, its not used very often, and instead, director Friedkin employs simple background noise. For instance, most of the scenes in the movie simply work with dialog and city noise. This all goes back to the pre-established mood: realism. The music is used only when it wont get in the way of the framework of the film. So therefore, background noise suffices wonderfully for most action and dialog scenes. Some of the music is setting-based as well, and so, comes from the movie's plot itself, and doesn't break the reality theme. Modern audiences might be surprised by the lack of `action-music', but car chases and fight scenes sans pumping bass are surprisingly welcome, and help the film, as well as add an aire of classiness.

Director William Friedkin is a director who knows what he wants out of a film. For The Exorcist, it is told he violently slapped an actor who wouldn't cry, and, with The French Connection, he establishes his premise, and lets the story tell itself. It is a different style of filmmaking. The French Connection is important to modern cinema not only because it taught modern directors the art of silence and visual suspense, but because it artfully embodies its theme. Its story, rough characters, locales, color, and pace all bleed a very dark, yet very familiar reality; one that has shaped nearly every cop movie since its making. While the film is at times hard to follow, simply because the story is left to its own devices so much (there are 15 minute periods of no dialog), but in the end, it succeeds admirably. While not the best film ever made,

The French Connection is a classic, and worthy of the honors it has received.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (261 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The French Connection (1971)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Not in the Top 250???? murchison21
A work of absolute genius and one of the best American films of the '70s burgerswat
That restaurant meal pyrrhus819
The music score is underrated vandelais
So you strip every inch of a car except for... neo_jenner
Egan's acting pretty good allthumbs-3
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