Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Movie on the Mind: The French Connection

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe: Monday Movie on the Mind. I’ll be kicking off each week with a clip or trailer from a film that happens to be on my mind, designed as a retrospective look at some well-known, forgotten, or underappreciated classic from movie history, be it antique or current. Chime in with your thoughts about the film or any other movies that you might be thinking of this week!

The French Connection
Directed by William Friedkin
Released October 9, 1971

Just over a year ago, I saw this film as part of the annual outdoor HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. While it’s a fun classic, it’s not the greatest film to watch outside in the city since it’s often hard to hear, but fortunately there’s plenty of action and excitement to be had that make it a more than enjoyable experience. This film defeated “A Clockwork Orange” and “Fiddler on the Roof” for Best Picture back in 1971, and also took home Oscars for directing, writing, editing, and lead actor Gene Hackman. Roy Scheider and Hackman make an entertaining disgruntled team of narcotics cops looking into a “French connection” in a smuggling job. The film is full of terrific scenes, beginning with the opening sequence, where Hackman’s Popeye Doyle is dressed as Santa and chases down a fleeing suspect. His treatment of an informant in the subsequent clip also leaves much to be desired. Two of the film’s cleverest scenes are also embedded below. The first involves an intriguing discovery of the contents hidden behind panels in a seized car, and the second is an amusing cat-and-mouse game played by Doyle and Devereaux (Frédéric de Pasquale) as they both try to catch a subway. Finish off by watching the iconic car chase scene here.





Losing the Tail

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