3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Good 'Twin-Set',
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This review is from: French Connection 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD]  (DVD)
The French Connection is rightly recognised as a genuinely-classic piece of 70's film-making which really made us sit up and take notice of director William Friedkin. Due to extensive filming across the urban landscape of New York City in 1971 (plus the few scenes of 70's Marseille), we have a timeless record of the 'look' of NYC in that era. A gritty drugs-based crime drama is brilliantly handled by both director and cast and has what is now termed a 'docu-drama' feel to it due to its realism and gravitas.
Gene Hackman steals the film as 'Popeye' Doyle but the rest of the well-chosen cast (Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, etc) are close behind and the added bonus of the story being based on factual events and characters lends further weight to the film's credentials.
There's no 'gloss' to this film and none of today's over-stylized cinematography, so watching it involves none of the suspicion that you, the audience, is being 'wooed' by what the film-makers 'think' you'd like to see and how some marketing department insist it be presented. Here they tell it straight and 'like it is' and, as a result, leave it up to you to take it or leave it for what the result turns out to be. I do like that ethos which has been fast-disappearing in current movie-making.
It's been a long time since I've seen John Frankenheimer's sequel and so I am keen to re-visit it. I seem to remember feeling it 'bogged down' in pace compared to the first film but need to re-appraise it before commenting further.