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The French Connection (2-Disc English/French edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Gene Hackman    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
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William Friedkin's classic policier was propelled to box-office glory, and a fistful of Oscars®, in 1972 by its pedal-to-the-metal filmmaking and fashionably cynical attitude toward law enforcement. Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle, a brutally pushy New York City narcotics detective, is a dauntless crime fighter and Vietnam-era "pig," a reckless vulgarian whose antics get innocent people killed. Loosely based upon an actual investigation that led to what was then the biggest heroin seizure in U.S. history, the picture traces the efforts of Doyle and his partner (Roy Scheider) to close the pipeline pumping Middle Eastern smack into the States through the French port of Marseilles. (The actual French Connection cops, Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, make cameo appearances.) It was widely recognized at the time that Friedkin had lifted a lot of his high-strung technique from the Costa-Gavras thrillers The Sleeping Car Murders and Z--he even imported one of Costa-Gavras's favorite thugs, Marcel Bozzuffi, to play the Euro-trash hit man plugged by Doyle in an elevated train station. There was an impressive official sequel in 1975, French Connection II, directed by John Frankenheimer, which took Popeye to the south of France and got him hooked on horse. A couple of semi-official spinoffs followed, The Seven-Ups, which elevated Scheider to the leading role, and Badge 373, with Robert Duvall stepping in as the pugnacious flatfoot. --David Chute

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, terrible Blu-Ray transfer March 9 2009
One of the coolest of the 'Best Picture' winners comes to Blu-Ray....and unfortunately it's one of the worst looking Blu-Ray releases I own, if not THE worst. Apparently William Friedkin intentionally added a ton of grain to the transfer thinking it would be fitting for the style of the movie. While a little grain would have been a nice touch, he went waaaaaay overboard here, and honestly it's more than a little distracting at times. Some scenes look fairly nice, but overall this is very bad looking disc and a real injustice to a great film. You might want to wait for future, more acceptable BRD release and hold onto that DVD a little while longer.

Movie - *****
Video - **
Audio - ***1/2
extras - ***1/2
Overall - **
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars look behind you! May 17 2010
I own both the DVD special edition and BLU-RAY special edition of this classic film..it is true that the transfer in close-ups and medium shots don't differ from the DVD transfer but the backgrounds have more detail also a greater depth of field than dvd...way more detail and in many occassion this is where you notice a difference.
If you don't have a special edition of this film, it's worth the purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking June 10 2004
After two decades of watching squeaky clean LAPD Sergeant Joe Friday on "Dragnet", and decades of Chicago's favorite fed, Elliot Ness on "The Untouchables", and then the innocent buffoons of the NYPD on "Car 54 Where Are You?", it was little wonder that people of the t.v. era were shocked by this movie's unflinching look at New York's lawmen. THE FRENCH CONNECTION, if not for anything else, will be remembered as the film that ultimately de-romanticized the noble cop legend. Popeye Doyle (marvelouly portrayed by Gene Hackman) is the anti-cop. He is not a crooked cop by any means. However, he's bigoted, amoral, prone to violence, self-possessed, and oblivious to the rules of police conduct. Norman Mailer once said of bad cops that they are sworn to uphold the law but feel they are above it; that they are supposed to keep the peace, but are inherently violent. That's Popeye Doyle.
The plotline of the film is fairly simple: the police receive information about a major drug operation about to go down, and they try to prevent it and arrest everyone involved. But Director Friedkin infuses the film with the complexities and dreariness inherent in pursuing such a case. I developed an appreciation of the hours of stake-out drudgery that the police go through. And then, of course, there's the danger every policeman confronts.
There's something for everyone in this film, including the greatest car chase in movies (even if the car is chasing an elevated train). Note: the elevated tracks that Gene Hackman drives under are the same tracks that appeared in the opening credits of "Welcome Back, Kotter" and, more importantly, they are the same tracks that John Travolta saunters under in the open scene of "Saturday Night Fever". If you're interested, those are the elevated tracks of the West End line (now the "D" train) on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the 4th time viewing got even better experience July 2 2004
simply fantastic! the 2nd dvd got lot of significant details about this great movie making. the quality of the dvds are so crispily sharp. very very good viewing experience. gene hackman admitted it set off his career and confessed the difficulties to bring himself into playing the popei role. by viewing his performance only proved that he's one of the greatest modern time actors. think back....almost all of his movies roles were great, no matter how lousy the movies themself was. gene hackman is a national treasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty but not Glamorous June 23 2009
You may not like the characters in this movie, but it totally captures the seedy underbelly of New York in the early 70s. Gene Hackman plays the part brilliantly. I didn't actually expect to like this but was hooked from start to finish. Only disappointment was sound quality. Found I had to have the volume way up to properly follow the dialogue. But other than that a classic of early 70s cinema.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spinach or Omelets? Sept. 12 2003
To a significant extent, this film is based on a real-world situation in which hundreds of law enforcement officials worked for many months to locate and eliminate the connection between the source of heroin in France and its underworld contacts in the United States. As examined in Robin Moore's book, 112 pounds of heroin (with a then street value of about $90-million) were scheduled to arrived in the United States. Narcotics detectives Eddie ("Popeye") Egan and Sonny Grosso completed a lengthy investigation to learn who, when, where, how, etc. In the film, Hackman plays re-named Jimmy ("Popeye") Doyle and Roy Scheider plays his re-named partner Buddy Russo. (Both Eddie Eagan and Sonny Grosso have small parts in the film.) Other variations from the book are relatively insignificant. The situation remains essentially the same. The film carefully follows the extended and tedious period of surveillance which reveals the NYC source; preparations are then completed in anticipation of the shipment's arrival; finally, the connection is consummated and....
Under William Friedkin's brilliant direction (which resulted in an Academy Award for him), this film weaves several separate but related plot threads, both within and beyond the United States, which involve criminal activities in meticulous coordination with efforts by law enforcement officials to respond to them. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of elegance and luxury in affluent (albeit criminal) society with the squalor and decay of the world within which the heroin will ultimately be distributed. I was also fascinated by the style and temperament of Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) who supervises the shipment in striking contrast with his principal adversary, Doyle, who resembles an enraged bear wearing ill-fitting hand-me-down men's clothing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Popeye kicks some ginzo ass in this film, and...
gives Frog one nightmares. Classic film, I never get tired of watching it. From the very beginning, with the iconic scene of Doyle running down a perp in a Santa suit, to the final... Read more
Published 6 months ago by jessekaellis
1.0 out of 5 stars another bore fest masquerading as a movie
in my opinion,The French Connection is one long bore.Gene Hackman is a
gifted actor,but even he can't save this mess. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2007 by falcon
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
This movie was good, but it wasn't THAT good.
The ending itself is a HUGE left-off-hanging disappointment. Read more
Published on March 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Five Star Package
More than 30 years after its release, "The French Connection" has become one of the signpost cop dramas of American cinema. Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by Brian D. Rubendall
1.0 out of 5 stars What was so good about this movie?
This movie was incredibly boring. The whole movie is basically one long chase scene which is never finished. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars non stop action
If you like a gritty, non-stop action movie, you will love what you see here. Popeye, the psycho cop who cares about nothing except getting his prey, was a defining role for... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars measure others against this one.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION is hands-down my favorite police movie. Gene Hackman set a standard as Popeye Doyle. This movie is completely satisfying as a thriller. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2003 by Ken Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars "Never trust a n$%$er."
William Friedkin is really underrated in terms of direction. This movie, The French Connection, has a great documentary feel to it, and is very realistic. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by Nick Bobraton
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