182: The French Connection

The French Connection (R) - 1971 - Runtime: 104 minutes
Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider
Director: William Friedkin

I've always heard nothing but high praise for this movie and when I found it at Blockbuster for $3.99 (the two-disc version to boot!) I had to pick it up! The only thing I really heard was how awesome the car chase scene was and that's about it. But the movie is much more than that one chase scene. It's a good thriller that's made even better by the two cops who are in charge of the investigation.

Police detectives "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy Russo find themselves caught up in an investigation that involves a huge drug shipment coming from France. The movie is their subsequent work on exposing this shipment and taking down all those involved. It all plays out wonderfully and that famous car chase scene (although it's really a car and an elevated train) is pretty fantastic, but not exactly awesome. But once you find out that most of the stunts are real and not jazzed up after the fact, it's simply a jaw-dropping cinematic feat. Aside from that action, there's two very different, but very close detectives. Doyle is brash, crude and will shoot a man in the back (like in the poster) if he has to for justice. Russo is more guarded and hesitant to fire off his gun and his mouth. They work well together and it's like a well-oiled machine as to how they operate. Hackman is at his best here and so is Scheider (I'm starting to like this dude!). While the plot isn't exactly intricate or hard to follow, it's cool to watch how it all plays out. There's a lot of good scenes of tension and thrills, which is what the movie is really all about.

A fun ride and deserving of all the accolades! I can't wait to sit down and watch this one again - it was a blast to watch and certainly one to own!

Rating: Own It!

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