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The French Connection (Widescreen) [2 Discs]

Gene Hackman , Roy Scheider , William Friedkin    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
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Product Description


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

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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 Popeye kicks some ginzo ass in this film, and... March 27 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 denouement--if you haven't seen this film yet, you should be in prison.
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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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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
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great March 21 2004
By A Customer
This movie was good, but it wasn't THAT good.
The ending itself is a HUGE left-off-hanging disappointment.
It doesn't really stand out from a lot of other cop movies that received far less attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Five Star Package March 10 2004
More than 30 years after its release, "The French Connection" has become one of the signpost cop dramas of American cinema. That its portrayal of law enforcement officiers is far less than flattering is hardly the point. The movie is stylish, brilliantly acted, authentically filmed, and features perhaps the most amazing chase sequence in movie history (the biggest reason why it is so amazing is explained in the extras that come with this DVD).
Having said all of that, the five-star DVD edition is an absolute must own for those who love the movie. It contains a full disc of extras, including two documentaries, a bunch of deleted scenes, as well as other goodies. If only every great movie was available in a package this complete.
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