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The French Connection (1971)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the book by)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Frédéric de Pasquale ...
Devereaux (as Frederic De Pasquale)
...
Ann Rebbot ...
Marie Charnier
Harold Gary ...
Arlene Farber ...
...
André Ernotte ...
La Valle (as Andre Ernotte)
Sonny Grosso ...
Benny Marino ...
Lou Boca
...
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

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The time is just right for an out and out thriller like this. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doyle  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sequence on the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle took two full days to shoot (without permission from the Transit Authority), even though it lasts for only a few minutes on screen. Car 6609, an R-17, is preserved at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn. A different trainset was apparently substituted between the time filming of that scene began and ended because the car numbers are not the same when Fernando Rey finally outwits Gene Hackman and leaves him behind at the station. See more »

Goofs

When the car is driven from the impound yard the front windshield is completely clean. When it arrives at is destination it has huge numbers and letters painted on the windshield as often seen in impounds-when the car is driven away it has a clean windshield again. 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 »

Connections

Spin-off The Seven-Ups (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
[Played on piano at the restaurant where Charnier and Nicoli dine]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The first of many to come!
6 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

In most movies, the good guys are portrayed as models for others, examples for a better life. The bad guys, on the other hand, are usually dirty rat scums. What a refreshing surprise to see that The French Connection has the roles loosely interchanged. Set against the backdrop of bleak New York City streets, ill-tempered narcotics detective 'Popeye' Doyle and his partner 'Cloudy' Russo intercept a drug shipment coming in from France led by urbane master criminal Alan Charnier. The two cops, however, have a hard time capturing the drug lord as he outwits them throughout the city. Popeye and Charnier make an interesting contrast. Popeye is portrayed as an obsessive, racist drunk while Charnier is the mellow, European sophisticate. This is, of course, an action thriller and the sequences are gritty, tense, and heart-pounding. It features one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed. What makes it so effective is the fact that it was shot in real-time, heavy traffic and we vicariously experience moment-by-moment. The acting is strong and believable. Gene Hackman's portrayal is exact and deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar. William Friedkin did a superior job in giving us a diverting and realistic look of cop life and the raw work they undergo to clear the streets of illicit activity. Great action thriller!


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