"YOU EVER PICKED YOUR FEET IN POUGHKEEPSIE??",
This review is from: The French Connection/French Connection II [DVD]  (DVD)
The movie that gave birth to the genre of the tough, gritty, New York cop thriller is here in all it's glory on DVD, along with perhaps it's less famous sequel. Based on a true story from 1962, NYPD detectives Eddie "Popeye" Egan and Sonny "Cloudy" Russo made the biggest drug bust in U.S. history. Under the screen direction of the then relatively unknown William Friedkin, these events are played against a backdrop of New York city that has been replicated time again in the movies; a bustling, pollution-filled mecca for the criminal element. "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) and "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Schneider) must sweep through it to track down the elusive Charnier, affectionately labelled by Doyle as "Frog 1". Charnier is the criminal mastermind behind a shipment of heroin coming into NY, Doyle and Russo hound him and his organisation day and night to smash the operation.
The car chase, as "Popeye" races through rush hour to catch the French hitman on a speeding train, has gained legendary status. Watching the BBC documentary "The Poughkeepsie Shuffle", you'll see why it was more death-defying than that which was seen in "Bullitt".
Hackman, in a career-defining performance, portrays the no-nonsense, street-wise, foul mouthed, obssessive New York cop with conviction. As the additional documentary "The Poughkeepsie Shuffle" shows, under Friedkin's direction it seemed like an extreme process. With the sequel also included, it tries hard to live upto its' predecessor, as Doyle trails Charnier to Marseille only to fall victim to him.
An impressive DVD package that fully deserves top rating.