The French Connection

August 6, 2005 - This 1971 action thriller won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for William Friedkin and Best Actor for Gene Hackman.

Hackman plays Popeye Doyle, a NY police detective who works narcotics. Roy Scheider (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) is his partner, Cloudy. They make lots of busts but it's all nickel and dime stuff. But, Popeye smells a big score when he and Cloudy go to a nightclub and see a small-time store owner rubbing elbows with some known crooks. They connect him to another big-time drug kingpin and, ultimately, to the Frenchman who smuggled the heroin into the country by making a struggling French actor his fall guy.

The movie includes one of the most famous chase scenes in all of movies as Popeye tails a French hitman. Another classic scene involves Popeye following the main French guy and getting involved in a little game of cat and mouse.

Overall Review: *** Holds up well, I think, despite being made more than 30 years ago. The 70s setting (clothes, music, cars) does not detract from the overall impact of the film. The only thing that's slightly disappointing is the abrupt ending.