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THE FRENCH CONNECTION, 1971
Movie Review

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THE FRENCH CONNECTION MOVIE POSTER
THE FRENCH CONNECTION, 1971
Movie Reviews

Directed by William Friedkin
Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco
Review by Michael Everett



SYNOPSIS:

Based on a true story a pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

OSCAR Winner for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Hackman), Best Editing, Best Picture

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REVIEW:

The French Connection is one of those rare classic films that can be watched over and over again. Itís the grittiest, most realistic thriller I have ever seen and 28 years since it first hit the big screen, itís still as fresh as ever.

What I like most about the French Connection is itís a simple thriller that doesnít heavily rely on plot and even dialogue, there are scenes where not much is said, which is daring and rare for a film these days, but this doesnít matter as the art of William Friedkins cat and mouse direction is shown through visual suspense rather than character interaction, revealing what a masterful film maker he is, which he only manages to succeed a few years later with The Exorcist.

This was also when I first discovered the talents of Gene Hackman, who plays Popeye Doyle, a hard drinking racist obsessed Narcotics cop, who on paper sounds like a monster but somehow ends up being someone we route for, itís arguably his best performance and deservedly an Oscar winning one. And of course not forgetting the late Roy Scheider, who plays Doyleís partner, Buddy Russo, adds that little calmness that all partnerships should have, incidentally both have a great on screen chemistry, itís just a shame there isnít enough of them together.

I canít say this about many films, if any, but I recommend you watch this film for the car chase alone, which is widely considered the greatest in cinema history. Unlike say your average Michael Bay film, which rely on mountains of explosions and OTT effects, T.F.C has one car a busy street superb camera work, and cinematographer by Owen Roizman and still manages to produce the most realistic chase, which would beat anything Mr Bay can conjure up hands down.

Films like The French Connection are hard to come by in modern day cinema, rogue directing, unpredictability and the deliberate under use of music make it stand out from the crowd, itís hard to pick holes in this film and after racking my brains I could only think of the below par sequel that taints the legacy somewhat, and with the barrage of special effects, fast paced MTV style cuts and over ambitious producers trying to be original, make it sad that a film like this will never be made again, I just hope no one tries to remake it.

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The French Connection


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