The French Connection


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 95455


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June 16, 2013 at 10:42 PM


Gene Hackman as Jimmy Doyle
Roy Scheider as Buddy Russo
Bill Hickman as Mulderig
Tony Lo Bianco as Sal Boca
812.89 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 44 min
P/S 3 / 93

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Pjtaylor-96-138044 7 / 10

The slow, tentative tailing sequences are surprisingly riveting and the brash, balls-to-the-wall action sequences explode on screen with a ferocious verve.

'The French Connection' is at its best when its palpably gritty city street setting swallows its two hard-boiled, brutish but brilliantly brass-balled heroes and churns them out as almost nothing more than another piece of superb set-dressing, simply adding to the sensationally stained sense of time and place so very vital to the success of the punchy piece; its car-chase sequence is a real stand- out too, not only within the genre but also the whole medium, thanks to the devastatingly dangerous feel afforded simply because it was shot straight-up for real, every bump, scrape and oh-so-close call just seconds away from ending not only the careers of every member of the cast and crew but also Gene Hackman's and several city- slickers' very lives, and while this reckless abandon cannot be advised or even condoned, it certainly adds to the utter determination and desperation of one of the most no-holds-barred, brash and brutally honest action scenes of the seventies, but its actually this film's quieter moments that strike me the most, Roy Schneider slowly stalking someone from behind a broadsheet or tenuously tailing the last in a long line of fruitless endeavors, as they somehow manage to keep me riveted despite their lack of action and show an ironically interesting side of a slow-burning and sometimes boring job, a side seldom seen in cinema. 7/10

Reviewed by gab-14712 8 / 10

Gene Hackman's Show!

I remember watching The French Connection for the first time several years ago. I knew people regarded it as an instant classic, so I was expecting to love it. But the power of subjectivity appeared, and it turned out I didn't like it all too much. In discussions with cinema lovers, I was lambasted because people see this as one of the all-time greats. I watched this for a second time recently, and how about that! My opinion changed. While not calling this film an all-time great, I do respect and like it very much. The film fits the definition of a 70's American film. It is dark, gritty, and features some heavy violence. Also, the film happens to be home of one of cinema's greatest car chases. Essentially, the movie is a giant chase but that particular car chase is something else. I'll discuss it more later on in this review.

This Oscar-winning film takes us onto the streets of New York City following two detectives, Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner, Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider). Popeye is infamous for taking in street-level drug dealers, and at best his policework can be described as shady. He's violent drunk cop with low ethical standards, and his career is rapidly falling apart. But he seizes his biggest opportunity when he learns of a huge heroin shipment coming from France. Now we have an interesting contrast between Popeye and the heroin smuggler, Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey). I just mentioned Popeye has low moral standards, but he still is a dedicated cop. On the other hand, Charnier is a smooth gentleman that no one can predict he is a criminal. Now the standoff between the two men begins when Popeye does all he can to bring Charnier in.

Now going back to that car chase! It was a wonderfully executed car chase and what I like is that it is all real. There was an actual chase filmed in Brooklyn exactly how you see it on screen. It's crazy too because the chase is about a simple car trying to outrun and outmaneuver a moving train which eventually has a dead conductor at the wheel. So then it turns into a psychologically-crazy man versus machine kind of chase. The chase also proves the recklessness of Popeye. He held no regard for the common people as he had close calls with them during the chase. He was basically using the people for his benefitÂ….in an oddly positive way. Some of the camera techniques are very effective. They filmed in a way where the subjects are actually further away from the cars than shown on screenÂ….which must have been a relief for some of the actors. But yes, this is one of the biggest car chases to have ever been filmed so this film is a must-see just for that.

Speaking of actors, well yes let's talk about the acting. Director William Friedkin famously did not want Gene Hackman in the lead role. Hackman, by 1971 was already a bankable star, but Friedkin did not think so. Luckily, they decided to cast Hackman anyway and it's a good thing they did. Hackman is one of those actors who can do any genre and always gives his best effort. I loved his performance here and his character was perhaps the only three-dimensional character in the film because the film spends so much time on him. But I was won over by Hackman almost right away. The scene where he enters a bar and violently asks everyone to turn out their pockets in the search for drugs-well, I knew I would be in for a treat. I was happy to see his performance win Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Roy Scheider does a solid job as Popeye's partner, but I didn't feel the same way for him as I did for Popeye. There was nothing much to do for him except to act as a backup. Same goes for Fernando Rey. A very solid performance, but his character was also under-utilized.

The French Connection is a violent, fast-paced film. I said in my opening the movie plays like one giant chase, but I liked the frenetic pacing of the movie. My favorite scene is no doubt that car chase, but I loved the smaller scenes especially the ones where Popeye is up to no good. I also loved the actual photography of the film. Sure, the movie is over forty years old but seeing the streets of my favorite city in the world always makes me happy as it brings back some fond memories. The film has a violent nature and it may take you by surprise, but this film is heralded by many as an instant classic. I may not think so, but I did enjoy it very much.

My Grade: B+

Reviewed by Bella 8 / 10

A Brilliant Crime Drama

The French Connection (1971) is an Action/Crime/Drama/Thriller movie about 2 cops in the Narcotics Bureau of New York City. Popeye and Cloudy trying to intercept a big heroin shipment from France. Popeye, aka Jimmy Doyle, is played by Gene Hackman, and Cloudy, aka, Buddy Russo is played by Roy Scheider. I thought that both actors did a wonderful job in the movie and portrayed their characters well and in an interesting way. This was a very entertaining thriller film. The music was appropriate and mysterious and the plot was full of suspense. I would recommend this film to anyone who loves Classic Crime Dramas. The Chase is intense. Will Popeye and Cloudy catch the criminals?

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