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>
The early scene where Doyle and Russo chase down a drug dealer with Doyle dressed in a Santa Claus suit is based on a real-life tactic used by Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso. While on stakeouts in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Egan and Grosso discovered drug dealers could easily spot undercover cops, and would often flee the scene before the cops could arrest them. One Christmas, Egan came up with the idea of dressing in a Santa Claus suit, figuring the dealers would never suspect Santa Claus of being a cop. As depicted in the film, Egan walked the neighborhood streets as Santa Claus, singing Christmas carols with local kids. When he saw a deal going down, Egan sang "Jingle Bells" as a signal to his partners to move in and make the arrest. The tactic worked beautifully, and Egan and his partners made dozens of Christmas arrests over several years. See more »
(at around 1h 27 mins) Henri is returning to his hotel, when he goes to the elevator, he is seen with his gloves and hotel room key in his hand, when Charnier calls Henri over for a chat a few seconds later, the gloves have disappeared and Henri is seen only holding the hotel room keys. See more »
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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