100 movies: The French Connection

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The French Connection The French Connection (15/06/12)

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

You know what I really enjoyed about this film? It’s simplicity. That’s not to say it wasn’t a clever and entertaining crime thriller. It’s more the fact that today a lot of films insist on having some sort of great big twist. A big reveal towards the end of the film that you didn’t see coming. They’re becoming more and more prevalent these days that I’ve come to expect said twists. So it’s refreshing to watch a film that is just what it is. And it does it very well.

Gene Hackman’s Doyle is the no-nonsense cop. Right from the beginning, complete with the Santa suit. After handing in his daily paperwork, rather than going home, he’d rather stake out his next ‘victim’. He just won’t let it go. He’s unrelenting. And that gives us one of the best scenes in the film – the chase scene where he’s going after his target on the train, while he’s in the car. Excellent car chase!

Watching this film now, just over 40 years after it was made, it (to me) epitomizes everything about the 70s. From the soundtrack to the cars. While some of the shoot out scenes, the way they end, don’t exactly hold up today, the rest of the film holds up perfectly.

I tried watching this a couple of months back and I fell asleep. But soon after my first attempt Ruth over at FlixChatter watched it and wrote a review. Since then I was determined to give it another go and I’m glad I did.

Oh and look! This is the first film I can cross off the films I need to see list.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

47 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)

17 comments

  1. I just watched this for the first time a couple of months ago ahead of my trip to NY. It still holds up today just fine! And glad to see a classic car chase that is still better than so many of today’s CGI assisted ones!

    • Yes – there’s nothing like an actual car chase. Actual cars getting actually thrown around all over the place!

  2. Great film. Director William Friedkin was at the top of his game during this time – especially as he also made The Exorcist (even better in my opinion).

  3. Great movie. The car chase is legendary. The way that Hackman’s character mentally breaks down is fascinating to watch, culminating in that scene where he shoots a guy in the back.

  4. YEAH! Nice choice, and glad to see you liked it! :D Awesome… I love this movie. I love the foot chase, and the car chase… I really dig this one.

    • The opening foot chase with the Santa outfit’s brilliant. It is SO of it’s time with the whole 70s vibe with it. Which is what made me love it more.

  5. I can’t believe that the wife and I were talking about this the other day (how we’ve not seen it and we really should) and since then 2 people have reviewed it! It’s been on our Lovefilm list for ages, so will get round to see it sometime!

  6. The suspense of The French Connection is what I remember, especially car chase, which you point out.
    The sequel on the other hand I didn’t enjoy, it lacked the fireworks of the original. I found it boring.

    If you like 70s car chases, check out the one from What’s Up Doc? (1972)-a lot of fun ( :

    • I saw the sequel on my TV schedule and was wondering whether to bother watching it. It didn’t get too many favourable reviews on IMDB so decided to skip it.

      What’s Up Doc? eh? I shall give that a looksee!

  7. Pingback: Films I Need To See – now in alphabetical order! | Time well spent

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