The French Connection (1971)

Genres - Crime, Action  |   Sub-Genres - Police Detective Film, Action Thriller, Chase Movie  |   Release Date - Oct 9, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Richard Gilliam

The French Connection became the blueprint for many action films that followed and, as such, is regarded among the most influential films of its era. Oscar winner Gene Hackman plays the prototype psycho cop, overly dedicated to results even when it means disregarding public safety and common sense. His partner (Roy Scheider) is the good cop counterpart, and they are constantly at war with each other, with the bad guys, or, more commonly, both. Unlike Lethal Weapon and other films it influenced, The French Connection has more street realism and a generally unhappy ending. The dialogue is intelligent, and the film features one of the most riveting automobile chase scenes of its era, rivaled only by the legendary stunt work in Vanishing Point. Overall, the film captured five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (William Friedkin).