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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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3,410 ( 725)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

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A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple, on whom he is spying, will be murdered.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
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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 <[email protected]>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A $32,000,000 chase turns into the American thriller of the year! 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

According to director William Friedkin, Peter Boyle was originally offered the role of "Popeye" Doyle but turned it down due to his preference for more romantic roles. Legendary New York City newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin was then hired to play "Popeye" Doyle, and completed three weeks of rehearsals with co-star Roy Scheider before Friedkin decided to recast the role. Breslin's inability to drive was one of the main reasons for his dismissal. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie when the Frenchman is shot in the face, his face is instantly a mess of blood. In reality, an entrance wound from a pistol shot would've been a neat little hole and thus would've taken awhile for the blood to cover his face. 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

Version of N.Y.-70 (2005) 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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