French Connections: Directors and Narcotics

Added on by Doug Dowd.

Another pass at screen-based communication: William Friedkin's The French Connection, from 1971. I have been traveling in recent days, and asked my seniors to gather in my absence to watch "a film" which I did not identify beforehand.

The French Connection won Best Picture (producer Phillip D'Antoni), Best Director (Friedkin) and Best Actor (Gene Hackman as Popeye Doyle) Academy Awards in 1972. Roy Schieder, who played Doyle's partner Russo, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

The film tracks a story concerning heroin smuggling from Marseilles to New York. Doyle brings wild energy to tracking the smugglers, with tragic results.

I screened the film because it includes precious little dialogue. We track the action through shot sequences. It calls to mind French film, a doubling of the "connection."

And that car chase! Zero digital effects.

So here's the question, people: cops in gray, black and brown; four-door sedans; people following other people.

Why aren't I bored? Discuss.