Franchise Weekend – The French Connection (1971)

frenchDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Ernest Tidyman (Screenplay) Robin Moore (Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi

 

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

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The French Connection starts by establishing Jimmy Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Scheider) as rough and tough cops, we also get to see the criminal enterprise in France run by Alain Charnier (Rey) and just how they will never leave a loose end.

As Doyle and Russo enter into one of their games of following what seems like a nobody in Sal Boca (Lo Bianco) they discover he is too clean leading to them to investigate him uncovering themselves a criminal activity going on unlike anything they have come up against before.

The French Connection brings us into the original feel of what a cat and mouse type chase would be between cops and criminals. Yes that does make it very simple as we do get to learn the vices of all the characters while uncovering the truth about them. We also get to see how investigation were done before everything was computerised with real leg work which creates the multiple chases that bring you to the edge of your seat throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Gene Hackman: Jimmy Doyle is the nonsense cop who will push all the boundaries while on the job to get answers. He stumbles upon an international drug deal going on and along with his partner has to watch over the potential suspects involved in the deal. Gene gives a great performance in this leading role showing pure determination throughout.doyle

Fernando Rey: Alain is the leader of the criminal syndicate from France who has come to America to complete on big deal, he enters into a cat and mouse game with Doyle which he seems to have the upper hand on. Fernando is good in this role thinking he always has the upper hand over Doyle.

Roy Scheider: Buddy Russo is the partner of Doyle, he comes off as the slightly more responsible one of the two and when it comes to good cop bad cop he will fill in as good cop. Roy does well in this supporting role letting Hackman take the centre stage without being just a standard backup character.

Tony Lo Bianco: Sal Boca is the man trying to get the deal done from the American side of things, it is him that grabs the attention of Doyle starting off the epic game of cat and mouse between the sides. Tony is good in this role with his extra swagger in his movements.

Support Cast: The French Connection has good supporting cast even if the characters are ones you would have come familiar with in the genre.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam gives us one of the film that has stood the test of time and will always be one of the benchmarks for great crime thrillers.

 

Action: The French Connection has great action scenes with the famous car chasing down the train being the highlight of the whole film.

Crime: The French Connection puts us into the middle of a crime world with one deal taking place but filled with secrets.

Thriller: The French Connection does keep us guessing to what will happen next throughout.

Settings: The French Connection uses the settings of New York to bring the action to closer rather than on the open roads.

Suggestion: The French Connection is one I think most people should have seen at least once through the life span. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car, train chase.

Worst Part: Cliff-hanger ending is slightly frustrating now.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

Budget: $1,8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Doyle is bad news – but a good cop.

Trivia: The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.

 

Overall: Classic that will forever be one of the best

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