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The French Connection (1971)

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2:47 | Trailer
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

Ernest Tidyman (screenplay by), Robin Moore (based on the book by)
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Popularity
3,221 ( 563)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Jimmy Doyle
Fernando Rey ... Alain Charnier
Roy Scheider ... Buddy Russo
Tony Lo Bianco ... Sal Boca
Marcel Bozzuffi ... Pierre Nicoli
Frédéric de Pasquale Frédéric de Pasquale ... Devereaux (as Frederic De Pasquale)
Bill Hickman ... Mulderig
Ann Rebbot Ann Rebbot ... Marie Charnier
Harold Gary Harold Gary ... Weinstock
Arlene Farber Arlene Farber ... Angie Boca
Eddie Egan ... Simonson
André Ernotte André Ernotte ... La Valle (as Andre Ernotte)
Sonny Grosso Sonny Grosso ... Klein
Benny Marino Benny Marino ... Lou Boca
Patrick McDermott ... Chemist (as Pat McDermott)
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Storyline

William Friedkin's gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. An interesting contrast is established between 'Popeye' Doyle, a short-tempered alcoholic bigot who is nevertheless a hard-working and dedicated police officer, and his nemesis Alain Charnier, a suave and urbane gentleman who is nevertheless a criminal and one of the largest drug suppliers of pure heroin to North America. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are no rules and no holds barred when Popeye cuts loose! See more »


Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Contacto en Francia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$51,700,000, 31 December 1973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Copeland named his restaurant chain, Popeye's Mighty Good Fried Chicken, after Popeye Doyle, Gene Hackman's character in the film The French Connection (1971). The chain that grew from the one restaurant became Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken. See more »

Goofs

At the end, when Doyle enters the derelict building, his hat is on and off his head between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: Merry Christmas. What's your name, little boy?
Little Boy: Eric.
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle: Uh-huh, Eric. What do you want for Christmas Eric? Hmmm?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th-Century Fox logo fades in in black and white and then dissolves to color. See more »

Alternate Versions

A "special edition" of The French Connection features several scenes that never made the final cut of the movie. One of these scenes has actor Marcel Bozzuffi being whipped by a topless hooker in his New York City hotel room. The trivia here is that the hooker is played by actress Darby Lloyd Rains who, several years later, would become one of the earliest stars of the adult film industry in such releases as Naked Came the Stranger. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blues Brothers (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon
(1969) (uncredited)
Written by Jimmy Webb
Performed by The Three Degrees in the club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gritty And Hard Hitting At The Time ...
18 January 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

... 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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