The French Connection Reviews
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.
Even after 40 years,its still holds up to the title. The coolest car chase in screen history through the mean streets of Brooklyn is one of cinema's all-time great car chase sequences.
This movie became one of the top-ten highest grossing films of 1971,and it was so successful for 20th Century-Fox,that in 1975 had a sequel "French Connection II",and a spin-off which was another hard-boiled cop thriller of the early 1970's "The Seven-Ups",that came out in 1973.
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.
"The French Connection" is an excellent film in every way imaginable. Gene Hackman (Oscar-winning) stars as a tough New York cop who is obsessed with stopping the flow of heroin into the city from France. Fernando Rey is perfect as the ring-leader of the smuggling. Tough, gritty, and realistic, "The French Connection" is an intense character-study that is never short on suspense or action. The film won five Oscars in 1971, including the Best Picture Oscar and one for William Friedkin's (only 32 at the time) intense direction. In a year that produced "The Last Picture Show" and "A Clockwork Orange", this film's win makes it even more impressive than it was nearly 40 years ago. Excellent.