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The French Connection (1971)



Average Rating: 8.7/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 1

Realistic, fast-paced and uncommonly smart, The French Connection is bolstered by stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, not to mention William Friedkin's thrilling production.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

Realistic, fast-paced and uncommonly smart, The French Connection is bolstered by stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, not to mention William Friedkin's thrilling production.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 41,928

My Rating

Movie Info

This gritty, fast-paced, and innovative police drama earned five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (written by Ernest Tidyman), and Best Actor (Gene Hackman). Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman) and his partner, Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider), are New York City police detectives on narcotics detail, trying to track down the source of heroin from Europe into the United States. Suave Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) is the French drug kingpin who provides a large percentage of


Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics

Ernest Tidyman, Robin Moore

Sep 25, 2001

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (51) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (1) | DVD (38)

There is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life. I kept looking for someone who I could throw up against a wall.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A knockout police thriller with so much jarring excitement that it almost calls for comic-book expletives. POW! ZOWIE!

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Producer Philip D'Antoni and screenwriter Ernest Tidyman have added enough fictional flesh to provide director William Friedkin and his overall topnotch cast with plenty of material, and they make the most of it.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

William Friedkin's symphony of long, sharp shocks is memorable for any number of sequences.

January 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Popeye also earned counterculture points by mistakenly shooting a federal agent and exhibiting a conspicuous lack of remorse.

August 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 1971 thriller about a heroin bust is solid, slick filmmaking, full of dirty cops, shrewd operators, and slam-bang action.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This crime drama from director William Friedkin brings a fluid, documentary-style realism to Ernest Tidyman's adaptation that makes it one of the most influential movies of a very fertile decade for American film.

February 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

To watch The French Connection now is to experience the shock of the old: a lost world of the city, and a lost style of film-making.

February 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian

...a classic bit of '70s filmmaking.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Hard as nail crime saga with a blistering central performance.

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Four decades after its initial release, William Friedkin's Oscar-sweeper The French Connection remains an electrifying achievement.

September 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Exciting cinema that's not to be missed by those in search of a fast-paced, well-crafted thriller.

February 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

well-acted, well-written and brilliantly directed film that could be recommended even to those viewers with little interest in history of cinema

December 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

Grounded in a gritty reality - and shot as such - it's still an action classic today that offers adrenaline-fueled pacing without insulting one's intelligence.

March 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Views

With its deathless car chase, Friedkin's film became an instant American classic... [Blu-ray]

February 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Fascinates us in an almost perverse way, gripping us with its tension, thrilling us with its action, and troubling us with its dystopic view of American society circa 1971.

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

When people talk about the Golden Age of movies in the 1970s, this is one of the ones that they're talking about.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Packed with memorable set pieces, tense action and a great script, this remains a classic cop thriller, and boasts one of Hackman's best performances.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

This is your typical cop movie with good performances from Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider.

December 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

An excellent thriller, with one of the best chase scenes in American film, that also revolves around a fascinating character, a tough, vulgar, bigoted cop, obsessed with his job, splendidly played by Gene Hackman in an Oscar-winning turn.

July 3, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The French Connection

Exciting. Surprising. And (not surprising!) and excellent performance by Gene Hackman.
July 26, 2014

Super Reviewer

Friedkin's 'French Connection' is a brilliant mixture of European style cinematic technique, and a classic American background and story. With these two strengths it becomes a powerhouse of a film.

Based on the true story of a NYPD narcotics bureau bust, 'FC' is led by the two brilliant actors, Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, who play detectives Popeye Dole and Buddy Russo. The fast-paced story, packed with cinematically irresistible moments as the car chase, alongside other great set pieces, is backed by an interesting, tense, but gently unwinding story-a perfect balance is struck.

The acting from obsessive Hackman is superb, the extent of the development of his character not fully appreciated until the end of the picture. Hackman is beautifully supported by Scheider who offers a whole new layer and perspective on the seedy NY we view, and the case we follow. But perhaps the most interesting performance comes from Fernando Rey-who plays the sly villain Alain Charnier.

Both the acting and the story are realistic. Hackman, nor Scheider, are classic, good-looking Hollywood action men-they are scruffy, street smart, obsessive souls who we admire but wouldn't want to be. Nor is the villain clever but too clever for his own good-he often outsmarts the detectives and matches or tops their intelligence.

We cannot praise the acting without first giving massive credit to William Friedkin, whose brilliant direction of both the acting and set pieces is in a class of its own. The genius of this film is astonishing. Added with this the brilliant score and excellent, natural script make 'FC' a wonder.

The film, deservedly, took best picture, best screenplay (adapted) and best actor at the annual Oscars. It is a brilliant example of filmmaking which rivals the greatest of crime and thriller films. Superb in every way.
July 7, 2013
Adam Kelly

Super Reviewer

'The French Connection' provides a gritty view of the police that had never been seen before at the time. Well acted, quickly paced and with a terrific train-car chase scene that stands the test of time, the film hasn't lost its touch too much. Occasionally, the film suffers from a faltering story, and frankly, an ending that does not really surmount to anything satisfying. Most of the time however, it is apparent why this film made such a splash at the academy awards when it was first released.
November 18, 2012
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

This film made the cliche of awesome buddy cop movies. Its cool and dirty all at the same time.
June 8, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The French Connection

    1. Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: All right, Popeye's here! Get your hands on your heads, get off the bar and get on the wall!
    – Submitted by Adam K (15 months ago)
    1. Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: Are you shitting me? That car is dirty!
    – Submitted by Jesse K (16 months ago)
    1. Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: Are you shitting me? That car is dirty!
    – Submitted by Jesse K (16 months ago)
    1. Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: When's the last time you picked your feet, Willy? Who's your connection, Willy? What's his name? I've got a man in Poughkeepsie who wants to talk to you. You ever been to Poughkeepsie?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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