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The French Connection (Widescreen) [2 Discs] (Bilingual) [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Movie - *****
Video - **
Audio - ***1/2
extras - ***1/2
Overall - **
If you don't have a special edition of this film, it's worth the purchase.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished 22 months ago by jessekaellis
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
This movie was good, but it wasn't THAT good.
The ending itself is a HUGE left-off-hanging disappointment. Read more
More than 30 years after its release, "The French Connection" has become one of the signpost cop dramas of American cinema. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by Brian D. Rubendall
This movie was incredibly boring. The whole movie is basically one long chase scene which is never finished. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004
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 morePublished on Jan. 29 2004
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 morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by Ken Miller
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