The French Connection (1971)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama


The French Connection (1971) Poster

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

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7.8/10
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  • Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1971)
  • Gene Hackman and William Friedkin in The French Connection (1971)
  • Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1971)
  • The French Connection (1971)
  • Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1971)
  • The French Connection (1971)

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18 January 2005 | Theo Robertson
7
| Gritty And Hard Hitting At The Time ...
... But perhaps a little bit dated now This must have shocked audiences at the time . Anti hero cop Popeye Doyle doesn't bend rules because he doesn't understand the concept of rules , catching scumbags is all that matters and if that means beating information out of a small time scumbag so be it . Hackman is really intense in the role and you feel glad that Popeye decided to join the force instead of turning to crime himself . This movie reaches new heights of social realism via Friedkin's directing , it's filmed almost as a documentary with hand held cameras and abrasive jump cuts to other locations . Like I said this must have shocked audiences...

... but only in the 70s . That's the problem with watching THE FRENCH CONNECTION more than 30 years after it was made - we've seen too many similar things in the intervening period . Every cop show as a sort of fascist good guy who would happily torture confessions out of suspects who are always invaribly guilty . When a snitch gives information to Detective Fascist he must be ruffed up a little to keep his cover going . when pursuing a villain Detective Fascist must pursue him in a vast car narrowly missing passers by etc etc . Name every cop show or detective movie and they all have the same type of story

That's the main fault of THE FRENCH CONNECTION - it's let far too many genies out of too many bottles , it's been imitated ( Usually in a far inferior manner ) a myriad of times that it seems almost run of the mill now . But despite the familiar subject matter it's still a very effective and hard hitting thriller mainly down to the director and star . I wish I'd seen it in the early 1970s when it seemed like radical film making

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