Probably the greatest movie that doesn't get enough credit even though it won just about every award

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The French Connection
Academy Awards
Wins

Best Picture - Phillip D'Antoni
Best Director - William Friedkin
Best Actor - Gene Hackman
Best Adapted Screenplay
Film Editing

Nominations
Best Supporting Actor - Roy Scheider
Best Cinematography
Best Sound - Theodore Soderberg, Christopher Newman

Greatest car chase scene in the history of films.
Popeye Doyle one of the greatest movie cops of all time.
and on and on and on.................
 

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I saw this movie as a kid at the old Criterian Theatre in downtown OKC just before they tore it down. It was one of the coolest theatres to watch a movie in the country.
http://www.dougloudenback.com/maps/vintage_criterion.htm

I know the French Connection put Gene Hackman and William Friedken on the Hollywood map. Friedken made a scary little movie a couple years later called The Exorcist. But he never topped French Connection imo. One of my alltime faves.
 

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Some call French Connection as good as the Godfather, and do I dare say it, a few say it was better.

French Connection was the first 'R' rated movie to win the oscar for best picture.

The great jazz legend Don Ellis wrote the score, music to perfection
 

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French Connection 11 was also an underrated movie. Not as good as French Connection, but still a great action flick. The only thing it was missing was Popeye Doyle's trusty sidekick "Cloudy" Russo.
 

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I got to check this out. Thanks Bill

The film revolves around the smuggling of narcotics between Marseilles, France and New York City, USA. In Marseilles a policeman is staking out Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey), a French criminal who is smuggling heroin from France to the United States. The policeman is assassinated by Charnier's henchman, Pierre Nicoli.

In New York, detectives James "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider) are conducting an undercover stakeout in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. After seeing a drug transaction take place in a bar, Russo goes in to make an arrest and the suspect makes a break for it. After catching up with their suspect and delivering a severe beating after the suspect cuts Russo on the arm with a knife, the detectives aggressively interrogate the man, forcing him to reveal where his connection is based.

After Russo's injury is treated, Doyle convinces him to go out for a drink. At the Copacabana, Doyle becomes interested in Salvatore "Sal" Boca and his young wife, Angie, who are entertaining Mob members involved in narcotics. Doyle persuades his partner to tail the couple; although the Bocas run a modest newsstand luncheonette, they have criminal records: Sal is said to have held up Tiffany and also killed "a guy named DeMarco" while Angie drew a suspended sentence for shoplifting and Sal's brother Lou served jail time for assault and robbery. They make nearly nightly trips to several nightclubs, as well as drive several new cars, which indicate they may be involved in criminal activity. A link is established between the Bocas and lawyer Joel Weinstock, who is rumored to have connections in the narcotics underworld; Doyle and Russo allude to a drug shipment from Mexico bankrolled by Weinstock.

Doyle and Russo roust a bar in their precinct, where the majority of the black patrons are in possession of marijuana and other minor drugs. The rousting is a stunt for Doyle to find an undercover policeman, whom he questions about an apparent shortage of hard drugs on the street; Doyle is told that a major shipment of heroin is on its way. The detectives convince their supervisor, Walt Simonson, to wiretap the Bocas' phones and use several ruses to try to obtain more information.

The film centers on three main points: the criminals' efforts to smuggle drugs into the United States, which is made easier when Charnier dupes his friend, a French actor named Henri Devereaux, into importing an automobile (unbeknownst to Devereaux, the drugs are concealed within the vehicle) and the sale of the drugs to Weinstock and Sal Boca; the efforts of Doyle and Russo to shadow Boca and Charnier; and the conflicts the detectives have with Simonson and a federal agent named Mulderig, assigned to the case due to the wiretap. Doyle and Mulderig dislike each other; Russo and Doyle feel they can handle the bust without the government's help, and Mulderig criticizes Doyle on items ranging from trivialities like Doyle's appearance to an incident where a policeman was killed and Mulderig holds Doyle responsible. Doyle comes to blows with Mulderig.

Weinstock's chemist tests a sample of the heroin and declares it the purest he has ever seen, establishing that the shipment could make as much as $32 million on a half-million dollar investment. Boca is impatient to make the purchase (reflecting Charnier's desire to return to France as soon as possible), while Weinstock, with more experience in smuggling, urges patience, knowing Boca's phone is tapped and that they are being investigated.

Charnier soon "makes" Doyle and realizes he has been observed since his arrival in New York. Nicoli offers to kill Doyle; Charnier objects, knowing killing one policeman will not amount to anything, but Nicoli says they will be in France before they can be detained. Nicoli attempts to assassinate Doyle, but botches the job, leading to a car chase scene that culminates with Nicoli's hijacking an elevated train.

Nicoli, after killing a policeman who was pursuing him, holds the driver at gunpoint. Near the end of the line Nicoli is confronted by passengers and the conductor passes out. The train reaches the end of the line and is halted by a safety mechanism on the tracks. Nicoli escapes the train and Doyle shoots him when he attempts to escape. The car containing the drugs is impounded when some thieves try to strip it of its valuables. Doyle and Russo take the car apart searching for drugs. When Russo notes the vehicle is 120 pounds over its listed weight, they realize the drugs must still be in the car. The mechanic tells them he did not remove the car's rocker panels; when he does, the drugs are discovered. The police later return the car to Devereaux, seemingly untouched.

It seems as though the drug deal has been a major success; Weinstock's chemist tests one of the bags and confirms its quality. Using a car that Sal Boca's brother Lou picked out, the criminals conceal the money. The car is to be imported into France, where Charnier will retrieve the money. Charnier and Sal Boca drive off, but run into a roadblock consisting of a large force of police led by Doyle. The police chase Charnier and Sal Boca to an old factory. Sal is killed during a shootout with the police and almost all of the others surrender.

Charnier escapes into the warehouse and Doyle hunts for him. Russo joins in the search. Doyle, trigger-happy and high on adrenaline, sees a shadowy figure in the distance and empties his revolver at it a split-second after shouting a warning. The man Doyle kills is not Charnier, but Mulderig. Doyle seems unfazed and vows to capture Charnier, reloading his gun and running into another room. The last sound heard in the film is a single gunshot. (In the TV version that ran in the late 1970s, Doyle says of getting Charnier, I'm going to get that son of a bitch if it takes me the rest of my life!!)

Title cards before the closing credits note that Joel Weinstock and Angie Boca got away without prison time while Lou Boca got a reduced sentence and Devereaux served four years. Charnier was never caught. Both Doyle and Russo were transferred out of the narcotics division.
 
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Some call French Connection as good as the Godfather, and do I dare say it, a few say it was better.

French Connection was the first 'R' rated movie to win the oscar for best picture.

The great jazz legend Don Ellis wrote the score, music to perfection

Great Movie, but let's not get carried away !
 

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The film is often cited as containing one of the greatest car chase sequences in movie history. The chase involves Popeye commandeering a civilian's car (a 1971 Pontiac LeMans) and then frantically chasing an elevated train, on which a hitman is trying to escape. The scene was filmed in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn roughly running under the BMT West End Line (currently; the D train, then the B train) which runs on an elevated track above Stillwell Avenue, 86th Street and New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn, with the chase ending just north of the 62nd Street station after the train crashed into another train up ahead.The conductor played by Bob Morrone and train operator played by William Coke, aboard the hijacked train were both actual NYC Transit Authority employees. Friedkin's plan included fast driving coupled with five specific stunts:

Doyle is sideswiped by a car in an intersection

Doyle's car is clipped by a truck with a Drive Carefully bumper sticker.

Doyle narrowly misses a woman with a baby stroller and crashes into a pile of garbage.

Doyle's vision is blocked by a tractor trailer which forces him into a steel fence.

Doyle must go against traffic to get back on a parallel path with the train. Intercut with these car scenes underneath the elevated train is additional footage (shots facing the car, not from the driver's perspective) that was shot in Bushwick, Brooklyn, particularly when Doyle misses a moving truck and slams into a steel fence.

Many of the shots in the scene were "real". While Gene Hackman drove well over half of the shots used in the film, legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman, who also had a small role in the film as Federal Narcotics Agent Mulderig, drove the stunt scenes and point-of-view shots through the windshield and from the front bumper, with Friedkin running a camera from the backseat while wrapped in a mattress for protection.[citation needed] The production team received no prior permission from the city for such a dangerous stunt, but they had the creative consulting and clout provided to them by Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso (which allowed normal protocol for location shooting like permits and scheduling to be circumvented), and the only precaution taken was to place a "gumdrop" style beacon on the car's roof and blare the horn.

The most famous shot of the chase is made from a front bumper mount and shows a low-angle point of view shot of the streets racing by. This was the last shot made in the film and was, according to Friedkin, needed to increase the speed of the chase after a rough cut of the scene proved less impressive than he hoped. While Friedkin contends the front-bumper shot is made at speeds of "up to 90mph," director of photography Owen Roizman, wrote in American Cinemataographer magazine in 1972 that the camera was undercranked to 18 frames per second to enhance the sense of speed. Roizman's contention is borne out when you see a car at a red light whose muffler is pumping smoke at an accelerated rate. Other shots involved stunt drivers who were supposed to barely miss hitting the speeding car, but due to errors in timing accidental collisions occurred and were left in the final film. Friedkin said that he used Santana's song "Black Magic Woman" during editing to help shape the chase sequence; though the song does not appear in the film, "it did have a sort of pre-ordained rhythm to it that came from the music."

The scene concludes with Doyle confronting Nicoli the hitman at the stairs leading to the subway and shooting him as he tries to run back up them. Many of the police officers acting as advisers for the film objected to the scene on the grounds that shooting a suspect in the back was simply murder, not self-defense, but director Friedkin stood by it, stating that he was "secure in my conviction that that's exactly what Eddie Egan (the model for Doyle) would have done and Eddie was on the set while all of this was being shot."

As of July 2009, the two lead R42 subway cars in the chase scene, cars 4572 and 4573, were added to the preserved collection of the New York Transit Museum.
 

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