French Connection 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD] 
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Frequently Bought Together
Directors commentaries by William Friedkin and John Frankenheimer.
French Connection commentaries by Gene Hackman and Roy Schneider.
French Connection 2 commentaries by Gene Hackman and produced by Robert Rosen.
Original Theatrical Trailers
French Connection 2 Still Galleries.
This special set features two of the 1970s' most exciting action pictures, The French Connection and The French Connection 2.The French Connection (1971): Released the same year as Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, William Friedkin's The French Connection marked the beginning of a new era of gritty, urban police dramas in which the theme of tough-cop amorality seemed to serve an epochal conservative demand for a police-state crackdown on the domestic chaos and subversive youth culture of the Vietnam War period. Based on the true story of two New York City police detectives and their investigation into a French heroin smuggling operation, this film is perhaps best known for its infamous, masterfully filmed chase scene (directly influenced by Steve McQueen's Bullitt) in which the lead policeman, Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman), recklessly drives a stolen car through oncoming traffic in pursuit of a sniper escaping by elevated train. The exciting thrill of this ostensibly conventional crime drama is accentuated by director Friedkin's early European influences, perhaps best represented by the often handheld documentary-style visual approach that brings the viewer into a more personal proximity to the characters, as well as Friedkin's claims that the Oscar-winning screenplay was frequently disregarded in favor of improvisation. The French Connection is the first film Friedkin made after announcing to Variety that he would abandon his European influences in favor of genre entertainment and not only marked a significant change of course for his career but also signified a demographic shift that all of Hollywood would soon follow.The French Connection 2 (1975): Gene Hackman again stars as hard-boiled New York narcotics cop Popeye Doyle in the sequel to the Oscar-winning The French Connection. Still on the trail of heroin kingpin Charnier (Fernando Rey), whom he's dubbed Frog One, Doyle heads for Marseilles. On arrival, his aggressive ugly-American persona alienates French inspector Barthelmy (Bernard Fresson), and his limited ability to speak French doesn't help. Frustrated by Barthelmy's lack of progress, he slips his assigned police protection and goes looking for Frog One on his own. He's soon captured by Charnier's minions, who lock him in a fleabag hotel and shoot him up repeatedly with free samples of their product until Doyle is completely addicted. Charnier uses the detective's narcotized state to interrogate him and is surprised to find that he's virtually ignorant about his operation. The disdainful Charnier has him dumped in front of police headquarters, and Barthemy arranges for him to be put in isolation. Doyle undergoes the lengthy, gruelling ordeal of quitting heroin cold turkey while his desperation to capture Charnier builds inside him. Hackman's brilliant performance highlights this somewhat overlooked sequel; Claude Renoir's camera fully captures the squalor of the milieu, and Frankenheimer engineers a harrowing final chase. --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Friedkin has overly tinkered with the transfer resulting in a distinct change to the colour timing, an overabundance of digital noise and a wiping out of fine detail due to ham-fisted application of Digital Noise Reduction.
A prime example of the latter is a long focus shot down a New York street showing the skyline and apartment building rooftops at the rear of the shot. Far more fine detail is visible in the DVD - in the Blu Ray there has been so much DNR applied that the television aerials have disappeared from the rooftops whereas they are clearly visible on the DVD. I thought one of the ideas behind Blu Ray was greater detail and resolution, not less?
This is not the first back catalogue title that Fox has managed to screw up for Blu Ray, several of which are so bad they are to be replaced with newly remastered versions. Moaning that people are being picky or overly technical is simply not good enough - your moaning should be directed at the studios producing sub-standard product. We also had this debate with the Blu Ray release of 'Gladiator', another DNR disaster, with apologists saying "Stop moaning it's fine!". In the end enough people complained and Universal withdrew the original discs and replaced the release with a brand new transfer that showed the original release up for the botch job that it was.Read more ›
You won't find any flashy effects or choreographed action scenes here, instead what you get is a fresh serving of tension, class dialogue and excellent writing, which go together to create a great pair of films in a fantastically priced box.
I was surprised with the sequel, having become accustomed to today's standards of trash that get the go ahead for rebooting from Hollywood producers for quick dollars. This film, although fictional, unlike its predecessor, provides a great experience for fans of the original and gives some closure to the story after the first films brilliant, yet frustrating ending.
The complete antithesis to today's standards in (big budget) film, and all the better for it. Buy it. Buy it now.
J A Sellin, Port Kembla, New South Wales
Very angry and let down! Fox, you can have it straight back!
So I was concerned about all the criticisms of the blu ray. Having finally bought it, I have to say the carping is - almost - much ado about nothing and is definitely out-weighed by the increase in sharpness.
The images do at times look too washed out, I will admit that. The scene where Doyle drives over Brooklyn bridge following and eventually losing Sal Boca is very washed out with the colours of the NYC skyline drained. The exterior of Sal's cafe is also too drained and loses too much of the green and red colouring in the store front. The worst scene for me was probably the sequence in Washington DC - this was really pale and washed out and really lacked punch. It was unnecessary and looked like an accident.
In other places, I thought the colder palette worked - when Doyle is waiting outside the NYC restaurant while Charnier and Frog2 eat a three-course meal, the exterior is a much colder blue than before compared to the interior. But this works - it highlights that Doyle is staking out Charnier in the cold while the French enjoy haute cuisine. So at times it works.
But leaving the issue of colour aside, people who say the blu ray is inferior to the DVD are well wide of the mark. From the outset, the blu ray is sharper (taking account of the generally very grainy and night lit nature of the film).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Present for my husband -he thought it was great. I've not seen it so can't comment more than that.Published 21 days ago by mayoman
These two DVD's are well worth buying. Gene Hackman's performance as" Popeye Doyle " in both movies is up to his usual high standard. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pansy Potter
2 Great films and such a bright picture,seeing as these films were made over 40 years ago. I love these two films,they are in my top ten.Published 3 months ago by stephen walsh
A somewhat dated film now and with scenes that could cvery well be deleted as they add nothing.Published 3 months ago by Stave