Directed by William Friedkin
USA 1971

 

  The French Connection puts the majority of contemporary action movies to shame. It proves how potentially smart this genre can be, and how dumb recent action films really are. Unlike many modern-day thrillers, this film is an exciting, taut, and realistic portrayal of urban police life, but it does not fill its running time with gratuitous violence, nonstop profanity, and copious amounts of sex. Character motivation and story drive the film forward--not a needless excess of violent, antisocial behavior. It’s a standout cinematic achievement that won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Film Editing, and Best Writing.

Ernest Tidyman’s story follows the adventures of two New York narcotics cops, "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman), and his partner, Russo (Roy Scheider). They track a lead about a large drug delivery that develops into a plan that could entirely destroy the marijuana trade between Paris and New York.

The movie contains convincing, memorable action sequences. In an unexpected, timely scene, Doyle walks down the street when suddenly a sniper hiding on top of his apartment opens fire. The sniper misses and hits an innocent bystander. Doyle finds cover behind a tree. More pedestrians rush to care for the injured victim. Doyle tells them to run. This sequence convinces us that the threat of the sniper is real, which leads us to one of the most thrilling chase scenes in film history.

Excerpt from Blake French's review at FilmCritic.com located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 7th, 1971

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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The Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice DVD set includes Murder Inc., The French Connection, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Seven-Ups
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:43:40 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.28 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs: French (mono) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by William Friedkin
• Commentary by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2005

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Chapters: 32

 

Comments:

Certainly the gem of the Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice Boxset as both a film and DVD. The image is quite good but the big bonus are the two commentaries - one by director Friedkin and the other with Hackman and Scheider. Unlike all the recent wave of Fox Boxset inclusions this is a dual layered DVD and the image shows a few less minor artifacts, although most of the others I've reviewed so far are pretty consistently strong. There are a few different DVD representations of The French Connection available, even in Fox's short lived 5 Star Collection series, but I, unofficially, never noticed any huge difference. I own the The French Connection Collection Box Set (1 & 2) and was lent the 5-Star Collection edition to compare but never got around to it. There is also a 'Special 2-disc Edition' which we assume is the same as the others. The VOB files on this are dated April 24th, 2001.

I think this transfer looks just fine and I even briefly sampled the 5.1 track and it sounded quite dynamic. Well-appointed optional subtitles are also offered. This is another recommendation as both commentaries are informative and entertaining - the film's accolades speak for themselves.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

The Classic Crime Collection - Street Justice DVD set includes Murder Inc., The French Connection, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Seven-Ups
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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