New York City detectives "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) and buddy Russo (Roy Scheider) hope to break a narcotics smuggling ring and ultimately uncover The French Connection. But when one of the criminals tries to kill Doyle, he begins a deadly pursuit that takes him far outside the city limits. Based on a true story, this action-filled thriller, with its renowned chase scene, won five academy Awards in 1971 including: Best Picture, Best Director (William Friedkin) and Best Actor for Gene Hackman.
French Connection II:
Gene Hackman stars as hard-boiled New York narcotics cop Popeye Doyle in the sequel to the Oscar-winning FRENCH CONNECTION. Still on the trail of heroin kingpin Charnier (Fernando Rey), whom he's dubbed Frog One, Doyle heads for Marseilles. On arrival, his aggressive ugly-American persona alienates French inspector Barthelmy (Bernard Fresson), and his limited ability to speak French doesn't help. Frustrated by Barthelmy's lack of progress, he slips his assigned police protection and goes looking for Frog One on his own. He's soon captured by Charnier's minions, who lock him in a fleabag hotel and shoot him up repeatedly with free samples of their product until Doyle is completely addicted. Charnier uses the detective's narcotized state to interrogate him and is surprised to find that he's virtually ignorant about his operation. The disdainful Charnier has him dumped in front of police headquarters, and Barthemy arranges for him to be put in isolation. Doyle undergoes the lengthy, grueling ordeal of quitting heroin cold turkey while his desperation to capture Charnier builds inside him. Hackman's brilliant performance highlights this somewhat overlooked sequel; Claude Renoir's camera fully captures the squalor of the milieu, and Frankenheimer engineers a harrowing final chase.
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