Lion of the Blogosphere

The French Connection (1971)

I can’t believe I’ve never watched his movie until now. It was filmed on location in New York City, mostly outdoors, and you get an amazing view of the gritty underbelly of New York City and Brooklyn in 1971.

“Popeye,” played by Gene Hackman, beats up suspects, and calls a black guy the n-word. Great stuff you’d never see in a modern movie.

And of course, the car chase scene underneath the elevated subway is iconic.

Highly recommended!

* * *

And the movie harkens back to a time when drugs came from France rather than from south of the border.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 31, 2018 at 11:51 AM

Posted in Movies

17 Responses

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  1. One of my favorite films ever. Friedkin raised the bar, I also recommend To Live And Die in LA. Hackman’s performance is an acting class. The real Popeye was their consulting on the film, he’s actually in it as well. Hackman credited the real Popeye with helping him be an abusive asshole cop, a real cop, with real feelings and vulnerabilities, and real bad ass bravery that is so admirable. And no they don’t make movies like this much anymore…

    Lazy Hero

    December 31, 2018 at 12:04 PM

  2. Another William Friedkin film that provides a glimpse into a now vanished time and place is his stylish crime drama To Live and Die in L.A.
    It tells the story of two Treasury agents on the trail of a brilliant counterfeiter. The film is set in mid-1980s southern California, just before Reagan’s sweeping 1986 immigration amnesty (and subsequent waves of immigration) would transform the Golden Syaye, and with it, America itself.

    Oswald Spengler

    December 31, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    • Also, the movie has an evocative and moody score by New Wave stalwarts Wang Chung.

      Oswald Spengler

      December 31, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    • Great movie, 80’s action but much smarter that most of the genre. Willem Dafoe when he was normal looking.


      January 2, 2019 at 7:19 PM

  3. ““Popeye,” played by Gene Hackman, beats up suspects”

    Cops used to be fairly tough guys who could handle themselves when push came (literally) to shove. Today, some 15-year-old gangbanger flips out and five cops wind up off duty wth injuries from trying to subdue him.



    December 31, 2018 at 12:35 PM

    • That’s the difference between being the attacker, and being attacked. The real life equivalent of the Gene Hackman character would already have started beating on the gangbanger before he had a chance to flip out.


      December 31, 2018 at 1:59 PM

      • It’s also a lot more risky to subdue someone when you’re trying not to hurt them. They knew there would be a shit-storm if a 15 year old ended up in ICU after being “beaten” by 5 cops.


        December 31, 2018 at 2:49 PM

      • Here’s a famous video from several years ago in which two NYPD cops are utterly incapable of handing a few girls – children, basically – who had jumped a subway turnstile. It took the arrival of reinforcements to control things. What’s funny is that I’d say the two helpless cops were a pair of marshmallow-muscled honkies, except that isn’t the case at all.



        December 31, 2018 at 10:59 PM

  4. I like the movie too. There’s also a good sequel. It is better than the other movie from the era with a famous care chase scene, Bullitt. Though the latter is good too. Yet another excellent movie from that era with a good car chases is Bonnie & Clyde.

    Speaking of France, you also should watch the Battle of Algiers.


    December 31, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    • I put on an old DVD copy of ‘Battle of Algiers’ for a friend just the other day. I agree it is excellent and Lion should watch it.

      It’s one of those films that seems to be becoming more relevant with time. One of the things that jumps out at you is that much of Algiers looks like a beautiful, clean Southern European city. And then you realise that Algiers in 1960 is basically Europe in the current age.

      Prolier Than Thou

      January 1, 2019 at 3:12 AM

  5. Always liked Gene Hackman. I think his best movie is The Package, with Tommy Lee Jones.


    December 31, 2018 at 2:00 PM

  6. And not only all that, but it also won the Best Picture Oscar that year too. Imagine that happening today.

    a bee ee?

    December 31, 2018 at 3:49 PM

  7. French Connection 2 is at least as good as the first. You’ll never think of Marseilles and traffic jams the same way again after seeing it, assuming that you ever thought of those things in the first place.

    Body by Bud

    December 31, 2018 at 6:53 PM

  8. Watched the Kubrick movies available free on either Prime or Netflix this last week, Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and The Shining supplemented with Makik’s Badlands. All excellent movies. I’ve heard people speculate that Kubrick was a Deep State believer and that weird events in his movies, particularly Eyes Wide Shut, are intended to call attention to such things. Clockwork Orange has that feel to it. And, there are weird scenes at the end of The Shining where a man appears in an animal costume that’s pretty strange. Lion should devote some time to exploring Kubrick.


    December 31, 2018 at 9:33 PM

    • You mean Terrence Mallick’s Garlands? Very good movie, yes…


      January 2, 2019 at 12:55 PM

      • And Badlands gets auto corrected to Garlands for no fucking reason….GREAT


        January 2, 2019 at 12:55 PM

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