The French Connection Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 22, 2015
An intelligent and at times gripping thriller that features admirably-shot action sequences and well-executed cinematography.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2013
Exciting. Surprising. And (not surprising!) and excellent performance by Gene Hackman.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2012
'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.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2012
This film made the cliche of awesome buddy cop movies. Its cool and dirty all at the same time.
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
A classic crime drama that has a great cast and great performances from Gene Hackman, the comedy or liners from this movie are funny and it is a good car scene chase that is realistic but certainly not a favourite movie that id watch over and over! Its good but not that good. The story just seem to float in and out of a story and just didnt have much going on! It is retro so the shootouts where you see people shot are going to be laughable but it isnt that great of a movie to make me say i thoroughly enjoy it !
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2010
What can one say about the brilliance of William Friedkin's masterpiece The French Connection that hasn't already been said? It's a fantastic cop drama, in the style of later TV shows like Homicide: Life on the Street, but it's also incredibly well-made and dripping with young director angst. I love Gene Hackman in this film. He is so detestable. He's hard-nosed, racist and just flat out unredeemable, but yet you love this guy and wanna see him get the bad guys. Roy Scheider is also fantastic as his partner, but it's Gene Hackman who really steals the show here. This film also belongs to what I refer to as the Holy Friedkin Trilogy, which is The French Connection, The Exorcist and Sorcerer, which were made pretty much all in a row. They're all masterpieces, and even though he went on to make the fantastic To Live and Die in L.A., it's these three films that really make me respect him as a director. And this is a film I never tire of.
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2010
The 70's churned out hard-boiled cop thrillers by the fistful, but The French Connection is one of those that is still worth watching today.
Super Reviewer
August 4, 2006
Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle. What more can I say? No wonder its one of AFI's top 100 movies of all time and the result was five Oscars including Best Picture,Best Adapted Screenplay,and Best Actor of 1971. This was the movie that cemented Gene Hackman's career as one of the great action stars of the 1970's. This gritty hard-boiled crime thriller remains to this day one of the great cop dramas of the 1970's.
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.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2011
If The French Connection isn't the coolest film ever made, then it's definitely in the top 5.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2011
The French Connection is by far one of the best action films of the 1970's. A tense action thrill ride from start to finish, two cops Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Gackman) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) a are oin the hunt of a drug smuggling operation where French drug dealers seek to import 32 million dollars worth of heroin. The French Connection is a tense action packed film with a phenomenal casst that deliver great performances. Director William Friedkin crafts a solid film that remains a classic. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider really have good chemistry here, and they play their parts very well. Both actors are perfect for the roles they played. The French Connection is a well constructed film with plenty of drama and action. This is a memorable film, and is one that is superbly filmed and directed. This is one of the best action / cop dramas that I've seen from this era since Steve McQueen 's Bullit. What makes this film work so well is the blend of suspense, action and drama rolled into one film. The French Connection is a solid film and if you haven't seen it, and enjoy old action films, then pick this one up. The French Connection is an epic film that is a definite classic of action/ cop genre. The film is perfectly executed to thrill the audience, and what you have here with this film, is a film that delivers a solid plot with solid acting and it delivers something truly memorable.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2006
The French Connection is possibly the greatest crime drama ever. The performances are as gritty as the cinematography and Don Ellis' score made me feel like I was going to get killed at any moment. The French Connection feels like a police ride along where your safety isn't guaranteed. This documentary styled tale of obsession almost is completely void of character development and for some reason is better for it. The car chase is the crowning jewel of The French Connection and makes Steve McQueen's chase in Bullitt look like a foot race to the bus stop.
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2011
"The French Connection" is a well crafted, influential cop film. While it didn't hold me in it's grip for most of the runtime, I can certainly see how it would have mass appeal. In fact, it was more interesting for me to trace it's influences across film history than sit through the film a second time. "The French Connection" was one of the films in the 1970s that ushered in American New Wave, delivering gritty, realistic cinema verite camera work in a mainstream Hollywood picture. I also loved that while the story was based off true incidents, it's still a completely fictional narrative. That was something totally new for the time, a film that bad one leg in reality and the other in fantasy- yet it was all delivered to audiences with a sort of documentary feel. William Friedkin paved the way with his film and it's effects have been far reaching. But in the end, "The French Connection" just didn't do it for me as a film. While I enjoyed watching the actors and the craft of the filmmakers, the story was simply not as engaging for me as I would have liked it to be. But that's just me and clearly "The French Connection" is a noble classic that still has pull today.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2011
Morally ambivalent cops, one of the finest chase scenes in movie history, and a jaw dropping ending are the highlights of this film. This coupled with the Exorcist make you wonder why the hell the rest of the Billy Freidkin canon is full of duds.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This was a cool police detective drama/action movie. I really liked it, the story is great, and the actors are great too. If you like 70s police movies, you'll love it.
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2010
God, I do love me some good old gritty, grainy filmstock work. I really do. I really loved the visual of the entire thing. The bluesy cold New York. The excellent light and shadow work. Call me a dork, but I did. I also liked the story and how it wasn't over Hollywood-ized. Not to mention some of the most tense and long chase scenes. The car chase, which is raved about is of course fabulous. Even the tailing of Alain Charnier was very stressful and the awesome, nails-on-a-chalkboard type music didn't help with that.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2010
"Popeye. You still picking your feet in Poughkeepsie?"

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.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2010
A great cop movie and one of the most surreal interpretations ever brought on screen. It displays the ugly side of police work and some of the not so glorifying aspects to the men on the job. Gene Hackman is amazing as Popeye Doyle, a racist yet good natured cop determined to catch the bad guys. Friedken really takes advantage of his style and does a lot of the same techniques that made The Exorcist so effective. The seemingly unrelated stories are brought together beautifully, coming as a great revelation to the viewer. The sequences are done like no other film, they are drawn out and full of power. It doesnâ??t feel like an action movie, but a dramatic story with great moments of violence thrown in. I love the use of the shaking camera, itâ??s extremely revolutionary and brave for the time.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2006
Really, really gritty action drama with international heroin smugglers and a major drug operation. The spectacular car chase under the elevated train tracks is movie legend. I think this was Hackman's best performance.
Super Reviewer
November 2, 2007
still terrific :D
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