- Actors: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Bernard Fresson, Philippe Léotard
- 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.)
- Number of discs: 3
- Studio: FOX
- DVD Release Date: 25 Feb. 2002
- Run Time: 213 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00005UWO0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,763 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The French Connection/French Connection II 
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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.
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.
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Gene Hackman as Popeye tries to get accustomed to southern french culture he is soon going to realise the different investigating methods of the Marseille police. Being followed by underlings of his biggest enemy the french drug lord who he first encountered in the States Popeye Doyle is caught off guard and hauled away in a sanctuary of the criminals. There he is going to receive a harsh and gruesome treatment and is given a injection of heroin in his venes. This part of the film shows apparently the amazing acting skills of Hackman. How he overcomes this cruel ordeal is one the most chilling and shocking moments of the movie.
To sum up I really believe this film the better and more enthralling of the two.
Regarding the quality of French Connection II this dvd version does not have any flaws and mistakes and most of all the overall sound is immaculate.
So I honestly can recommend this wonderful film to all fans of suspense movies and of couse of Gene Hackman.
Also included are still galleries and the original trailer,a few deleted scenes I didn't really bother with + a Friedkin featurette discussing the scenes; two 1 hour documentaries,the first being the excellent BBC 'The Poughkeepsie Shuffle' presented by Mark Kermode, the second focusing more on the real Egan and Grosso presented by Sonny Grosso himself.
Altogether an excellent package.
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