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>
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A "special edition" of The French Connection features several scenes that never made the final cut of the movie. One of these scenes has actor being whipped by a topless hooker in his New York City hotel room. The trivia here is that the hooker is played by actress who, several years later, would become one of the earliest stars of the adult film industry in such releases as . See more »
... But perhaps a little bit dated now This must have shocked audiences at the time . Anti hero cop Popeye Doyle doesn't bend rules because he doesn't understand the concept of rules , catching scumbags is all that matters and if that means beating information out of a small time scumbag so be it . Hackman is really intense in the role and you feel glad that Popeye decided to join the force instead of turning to crime himself . This movie reaches new heights of social realism via Friedkin's directing , it's filmed almost as a documentary with hand held cameras and abrasive jump cuts to other locations . Like I said this must have shocked audiences...
... but only in the 70s . That's the problem with watching THE FRENCH CONNECTION more than 30 years after it was made - we've seen too many similar things in the intervening period . Every cop show as a sort of fascist good guy who would happily torture confessions out of suspects who are always invaribly guilty . When a snitch gives information to Detective Fascist he must be ruffed up a little to keep his cover going . when pursuing a villain Detective Fascist must pursue him in a vast car narrowly missing passers by etc etc . Name every cop show or detective movie and they all have the same type of story
That's the main fault of THE FRENCH CONNECTION - it's let far too many genies out of too many bottles , it's been imitated ( Usually in a far inferior manner ) a myriad of times that it seems almost run of the mill now . But despite the familiar subject matter it's still a very effective and hard hitting thriller mainly down to the director and star . I wish I'd seen it in the early 1970s when it seemed like radical film making
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