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French Connection II (1975)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  21 May 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 9,950 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 42 critic

"Popeye" Doyle travels to Marsailles to find Alain Charnier, the drug smuggler who eluded him in New York.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: French Connection II (1975)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Fresson ...
Philippe Léotard ...
Jacques (as Philippe Leotard)
General Brian
Charles Millot ...
Jean-Pierre Castaldi ...
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
The Old Lady
Samantha Llorens ...
André Penvern ...
Reine Prat ...
Young Girl on the Beach
Raoul Delfosse ...
Dutch Captain
Ham-Chau Luong ...
Japanese Captain (as Ham Chau Luong)
Jacques Dynam ...
Inspector Genevoix
Malek Kateb ...
Algerian Chief (as Malek Eddine)


New York narcotics detective Popeye Doyle follows the trail of the French connection smuggling ring to France where he teams up with the gendarmes to hunt down the ringleader. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


THE FRENCH CONNECTION was only the beginning-THIS is the climax See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

French Connection II  »

Box Office


SEK 2,091,208 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eddie Egan, the real-life New York cop who was the basis for the character of Jimmy Doyle in The French Connection (1971), really did have a try-out for the Yankees in his youth, and played alongside a then-unknown Mickey Mantle. See more »


In the beginning of the movie, when Doyle arrives with his suitcases at the dock, a girl in a flowered dress and a boy in a yellow shirt run past him towards his right-hand side. In the next shot, when we see Doyle from the front, the same girl and boy are climbing up on a fence on his left-hand side. See more »


[Doyle doesn't speak French and is interrogating a suspect who doesn't speak English]
Jimmy 'Popey' Doyle: I'm gonna take you right down in that alley there. Right down there. And we'll start, we'll start on your throat, right here. Bustin' everything in it. You like that, uh. Then your belly. I'll start workin' on your belly. I'm gonna hit you so fuckin' hard, that the belly's gonna break your backbone.
Suspect: Je ne comprends pas.
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: You compris that?
Suspect: Non.
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: No, you don't understand, huh? Then I'm gonna work on your arms. I'm ...
See more »


References Popeye the Sailor (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Other Than That, Popeye, How Was Marseilles?
15 April 2010 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

In William Friedkin's original film, Gene Hackman played Popeye Doyle as a compulsive, single-minded narc, whose life Friedkin merely gave a little descriptive distinction in one scene, where Popeye is distracted from his consumption with menacing hoodlums when he, in his own expedient manner, picks up a girl who just as immediately disappears the following morning along with his thought of her. He could not concentrate on, care for, or acknowledge anything except his cop grind, and so all the rage and aggression we saw out of him was channeled by the hunt for the film's bad guys, the Marseilles heroin operation, and he was totally apathetic in other circumstances. That kind of character consolidates well with the brand of merciless, methodical, naturalistic film-making characteristic of Friedkin.

Whatever Popeye was, he wasn't a buffoon, and that's what he comes disconcertingly close to seeming to be in French Connection II, John Frankenheimer's fictional addition to the initial true account. This is a sequel, but it's also a clean slate with the same character. It makes every effort, it seems, to eschew yet another variation on that car-train chase that sparked abundant attempted duplications. Frankenheimer aspires to get inside Popeye, to comprehend him more extensively. But if that was his purpose, perhaps it's a misnomer to transfer the commotion from New York to Marseille.

Frankenheimer's portrayal of the city is distinctly observed, but it's not Popeye's city, and that's his problem. Not in his own element, he's desperately impotent, an uncomfortable, perplexed, remarkably conspicuous American with that goofy little porkpie hat and about one phrase of French. He's been sent here, totally improbably, to bag the Frenchman of the first movie, the kingpin of the heroin trade. But this far from home, he can barely function as a tourist, much less as a cop, so Frankenheimer takes an uncomfortable risk, as he's done successfully a meager handful of times before, by using displacement to wear the inscrutable tough guy down to jelly.

He has dialogue with the French that allege that anyone can interpret English if it is spoken slowly and loudly enough. He has confrontations with local cops, who give him a desk next to the men's room and won't let him pack his gun. He jumps into the case with the finesse of Cosmo Kramer, and in no time at all, he's been abducted by the drug lackeys. In a clever paradox, they hold him captive by turning him into a junkie.

The French Connection was a thoroughly rough, hard-bitten documentary-style procedural completely built out of sequence after sequence portraying the inside functionings and practices of police narcotics investigation and the criminal smuggling and engineering methods of real life, interrupted by the sole legendary chase. I shouldn't say interrupted, however, since the narrative, which has an overpoweringly impromptu texture, nevertheless proceeds commonsensically as all the sequences link because that's the way it must realistically happen. In John Frankenheimer's sequel, everything is based purely on emotion.

Frankenheimer sucks us into a prolonged axial segment of the film focused on Hackman's addiction and his cold-turkey nightmare. There's an abundance of tremendous acting here by Hackman, who leaves no feeling unshaken, and the movie comes to a stalemate. The story, his hunt, are all dismissed during Hackman's solo routine.

Marseille is a place it's patently clear no sane superior would ever send Popeye, no matter how relentless his urge would be to track down the one that got away, unless they wanted to get rid of him for good. But, the movie does have an effective atmosphere, and the Hackman performance, and an ultimate scenes that leads to a taut little bombshell of a closing shot. Whether or not Frankenheimer and his screenplay don't do right by the character, which is debatable, they definitely do right by the genre, and this is better than most of the many cop movies that followed The French Connection into release. It's an gesture, in a way, to how particular sorts of romanticized characters had been reborn starting in the seminal age of the 1970s. After The French Connection and The Godfather, with their profoundly sensed perceptions of cops and gangsters, the hackneyed boilerplates simply didn't do for awhile. Owing to these sharp and bold New Hollywood filmmakers, we're aware they're absurd, and we've seen the real thing.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Pretty good sequel. bunkerforever
why was there never a french connection 3 ? arabken
The green drink onebeforebreakfast
'If anyone is thinking of experimenting with Heroin read this'. shotgunnergauge5150
Why didn't Charnier kill Doyle? dd110669
Is this the first sequel to simply use a '2' in the title? phantomhillbilly
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