7.8/10
90,959
292 user 139 critic

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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Popularity
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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 <[email protected]>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Doyle is bad news - but a good cop. 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

Show more on  »

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

Detective Eddie Egan wanted his catchphrase in the film to be "Addicts in the cellar, sellers in the attic." Director William Friedkin eschewed this line, preferring the more enigmatic phrase, "Do you pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?" See more »

Goofs

The train is operating on one of the outer, or local tracks during scenes filmed from above. During scenes filmed from the front of the train itself, it is operating on the center, or express track. 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

Referenced in Making the Boys (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Again
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
[Played on piano at the restaurant where Charnier and Nicoli dine]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pretty Good Drug Smuggling Story With A Somewhat Anti-Climactic Ending
13 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Be prepared! This movie will be most entertaining for those who like to watch extended scenes of police surveillance - in other words, people who like to watch people watching people will love this. Probably 75% of this movie revolves around police surveillance or various chases. That's not particularly a criticism - just know that it's a primary focus of the movie when you go in; it's not the now typical action-adventure type of movie. The surveillance is portrayed rather well, and it does lead to a gradual but deliberate buildup of the story, which revolves around a major shipment of drugs coming into New York City from France, and the efforts of a couple of NYPD detectives to stop it.

Gene Hackman won an Oscar as Best Lead Actor for his portrayal of Det. Popeye Doyle - and he was deserving. He was first-rate as a totally obsessed cop who's out to get the bad guys at whatever cost. His obsession probably reaches its climax (as does the movie as a whole in many ways) with the wild car chase scene, as Popeye commandeers a civilian's car to chase a train carrying a sniper who had tried to kill him. It's obvious in that chase that Popeye has no regard for his own safety - or for anyone else's on the road, so obsessed is he with catching this guy. That chase scene was exciting. The movie as a whole isn't particularly exciting, although it does provide a fascinating look at the methods of both the drug smugglers and the cops trying to stop them.

The movie is "based on" real events and real people, although all the names have been changed. My biggest criticism of the movie is the last scene. This seemed to be building up to a truly climactic resolution; instead, I found the ending to be a classic example of anti-climax, as it just seems to come to an end at a point that didn't make much sense as the ending, with the viewer suddenly being told in script what happened to all the main characters (which was a bit misleading, since the characters in this movie were only "based on" actual people.) It's a very good movie, but it did leave me a bit dry at the end. 6/10


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