1971   USA The French Connection
The French Connection Image Cover
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Director:William Friedkin
Studio:20th Century Fox
Writer:Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore
IMDb Rating:7.9 (38,889 votes)
Awards:Won 5 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 8 nominations
Genre:Action, Crime, Thriller
Duration:104 min
William Friedkin  ...  (Director)
Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore  ...  (Writer)
Gene Hackman  ...  Jimmy Doyle
Fernando Rey  ...  Alain Charnier
Roy Scheider  ...  Det. Buddy Russo
Tony Lo Bianco  ...  Sal Boca
Marcel Bozzuffi  ...  Pierre Nicoli
Frédéric de Pasquale  ...  Devereaux (as Frederic De Pasquale)
Bill Hickman  ...  Mulderig
Ann Rebbot  ...  Marie Charnier
Harold Gary  ...  Weinstock
Arlene Farber  ...  Angie Boca
Eddie Egan  ...  Simonson
André Ernotte  ...  La Valle (as Andre Ernotte)
Sonny Grosso  ...  Klein
Benny Marino  ...  Lou Boca
Patrick McDermott  ...  Chemist (as Pat McDermott)
Owen Roizman  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: The time is just right for an out and out thriller like this.

Summary: 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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