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The French Connection/French Connection II [DVD] [1975]


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The French Connection/French Connection II [DVD] [1975] + The French Connection [DVD] + Bullitt [1968] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer, William Friedkin
  • Writers: Alexander Jacobs, Ernest Tidyman, Howard Hawks, Laurie Dillon, Pete Hamill
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb. 2002
  • Run Time: 213 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWO0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,850 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A double bill of the classic 70's thrillers featuring an Oscar-winning Gene Hackman as 'Popeye' Doyle. In the first film Doyle and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) are tough New York cops attempting to crack a drug smuggling ring. They have a small candy store under surveillance, but Doyle is not happy when he receives the order to work with a pair of French federal agents on the case, one of whom he has a long-standing feud with. Hackman and director William Friedkin both earned Oscars for the film, which also took the award for Best Picture. Whilst in the sequel Doyle (Hackman) travels to Marseilles to track down Charnier (Fernando Rey), the leader of a drug smuggling ring whom he failed to capture in the first film. Kidnapped by dealers and pumped with heroin, Doyle has to kick his new-found habit before he can set about his revenge.

From Amazon.co.uk

A milestone film from 1971 and winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, The French Connection transformed the crime thriller with its gritty, authentic story about New York City police detectives on the trail of a large shipment of heroin.

Based on an actual police case and the illustrious career of New York cop Eddie Egan, the film stars Gene Hackman as Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, whose unorthodox methods of crime fighting are anything but diplomatic. With his partner (Roy Scheider), Popeye investigates the international shipment of heroin masterminded by the suave Frenchman (Fernando Rey) who eludes Popeye throughout an escalating series of pursuits. The obsessive tension of Doyle's investigation reaches peak intensity during the film's breathtaking car chase, in which Doyle races under New York's elevated train tracks in a borrowed sedan--a sequence that earned an Oscar for editing and was instantly hailed as one of the greatest chase scenes ever filmed.

Produced on location, The French Connection had an immediate influence on dozens of movies and TV shows to follow, virtually redefining the crime thriller with its combination of brutal realism and high-octane craftsmanship. Boosted by the film's phenomenal success, director William Friedkin took his attention towards redefining the horror genre with his next film The Exorcist.--Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Following on from the original four years later, French Connection II takes "Popeye" Doyle to Marsailles to hunt down Alain Charnier, the "daddy" of the smuggling ring. Gene Hackman returns to revive his role as Doyle the brutal and uncompromising narcotics detective, and turns in an equally hard hitting performance to that offered in the original.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stampy on 3 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD
Detective Popeye Doyle (Hackman) is sent to France to resume his chase for the drugs baron Alain Charnier (Rey)

The sequel to the Oscar winning smash brings back the electric Hackman as Popeye as he continues his search for Fernando Rey's criminal in another highly charged crime drama that is brimming with sizzling drama and passion that arguably betters the original in more ways than one.

What made the first film special for me was the climax. It was sharp, raised questions and was so abrupt you couldn't believe it on first viewing. Hearing of the sequel I watched with some scepticism given that this picked up right where it left off. Admittedly this turned out to be much slicker and tenser than its predecessor and a heavy gamble that paid off.

Like the first the scene setting and initial first stage is quite slow and so getting into this film straight away is like trying to fit a boat through your front door, it just does not have the room and force to generate the gob smacking feeling of say Pulp Fiction.

Nevertheless the film moves at a swift pace and when the excellent Hackman enters France does the film pick up and gives an ideology of how rivalry between countries spills from professional to personal vendettas. The first instalment of the two focused around Doyle fighting America's own system as he seeks to bring Charnier to justice through his own impulses. Here we see Doyle's impulses get the better of him again but now the ramifications are steeper and more consequential as he battles the French system where everything is more tidy, secretive and admittedly professional, systems which go against Doyle's actions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Astore Stargazer VINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2002
Format: DVD
Gene Hackman excels in this real life account of the most successful narcotics investigation in the history of U.S law enforcement. The case started when the two New York detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso (played by Gene Hackman and Roy Scnieder)visited a night club on thier way home from work one night.
Whilst they were there they noticed a known Mafiosi spreading around lots of cash, so they decided to follow him after they left the club, little did they know then but they were about to embark on a case that would have international ramifications and end up being a ground breaking case that shook the heroin network in New York.
Hackman won on oscar for his superb pasionate portrayal of the New York Narc Detective, Schnider also helped out with a good supporting role culminating in a fast paced crime thriller that would set the tone for all future action movies.
If Hackman's performance won him an oscar in the first movie, then he should also have had the same accolade for his harrowing performance in part 2, his acting skills were tested to the limit when he had to portray the victim of an insidious kidnaping where he was turned into a heroin addict for him to talk to his subjects and then dumped out on the streets of Marsielle's after he had told them what they wanted to know. However the second part to this story is fictitous but never the less it was an excellent way to end the story, showing the strength of what men can do when they are pushed to the brink, and established by a wonderful cast of characters and brought to reality by the endorsement of Hackmans supberb display in both movies.
A classic that will always be rememberd for just that, and even better on DVD with great special features and a bargain at this price, and an epic 2 films that any collector should not ignore for his collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
"The French Connection," (1971) opens: we quickly see Brooklyn, New York, a few days before Christmas. It's brutal: we see a sidewalk Santa shivering at his Salvation Army bucket; a man freezing his touchas off as he works a hot dog cart. Suddenly we realize they're cops surveilling a dive of a bar, as they tear their costumes off and rush inside. So begins a nonstop action thriller, one of the greatest crime dramas/police procedurals of the 1970's; one of Hollywood's most celebrated golden eras.

In 1971, "Connection" won five Oscars: Best Picture; Best Actor for Gene Hackman; Best Director for William Friedkin (it now appears this movie will be the crowning achievement of his career). Best Writing for Ernest Tidyman, noted author of Shaft, who wrote "Connection's" witty screenplay (Howard Hawks contributed uncredited polish). (According to an eMail I received from Tidyman's niece, Kathryn Tidyman, Ernest, although white, "received an award from the NAACP for his depiction of the character of John Shaft, a black detective. Many people who saw the Shaft films presumed he was black¬-had to be. He was just a brilliant writer who soaked up everything about the people and culture in the big cities in which he lived during his relatively short life.")

The film received its final Oscar for Best Editing. The excellent cinematography was by the talented Owen Roizman. Add to that the fact that it was based on a crackerjack novel by well-known thriller writer Robin Moore. And the odd fact that G. David Schine, a New York boy if ever there was one, and a central figure during the 1950's Army-McCarthy hearings, gets a credit as Executive Producer, and you have one flavorful film.

The plot is, of course, pretty well-known; based on a true story of a major 1970's drug bust.
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