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April 6th, 2017

The French Connection

Perhas the greatest goodies-and-baddies film of them all

 William Friedkin 1971, USA, 104 mins.

Based on a true story, this multi-Oscar-winning film has Gene Hackman as the obssessive, do-it-my-way detective on the trail of a Mr. Big who’s smuggling heroin into the USA from France.

It was filmed in a documentary style with hand-held cameras, mostly using only natural or available light. To get the documentary feel, said William Friedkin, “I staged it without the camera crew and then let them go and find the action, as though it was real.” They had to decide in real time which character to follow, whether to move after a character or stay at a distance, etc. The real-life cops (joined by Friedkin on many real drugs busts) were on set at all times to make sure the scenes were true to life.

With superb performances, evocative images of shabby 1970s New York and a car-chase specifically designed to outdo the one in Bullitt, this crime thriller is an absolute classic.