Media

Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX

"The French Connection I & II" (Blu-ray)

movie-february-2009-french-connection-1-2.jpgSynopsis

NYPD Detectives Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman) and his partner Buddy Russo (Scheider) are narcotics officers, and they are passionate about their jobs, going after suspects furiously.

In Part I, the narcotics squad gets word that a huge shipment of heroin is on its way to New York. They note that a local gangster, Sal Boca (Lo Bianco), is connected to a businessman, Joel Weinstein, and follow the lead to a French movie star, Henri Devereaux (de Pasquale), and French businessman, Alain Charnier (Rey).

They confiscate Devereaux' car that he had brought with him from France and find 120 pounds of heroin hidden inside.

So, they chase Charnier all over New York, with the finale in an abandoned warehouse. Charnier escapes.

In Part II, Doyle goes to Marseille, France, to capture Charnier and put him out of business, but the French Police, particularly Detective Barthélémy (Fresson) tells Doyle that he is an observer only, and not to carry a gun. Of course, Doyle is not about to go to the most dangerous parts of the city without a weapon.

Charnier's henchmen kidnap Doyle and addict him to heroin. They see that Doyle has not really learned anything about their operation, so they give him an overdose and dump him in front of the Police Station. The police save his life, and Doyle is back on the streets again, this time burning down the hotel where Charnier had held him captive.

The climax to the story is on board a yacht, as Charnier thinks he has once again escaped capture.

 

 

Specifications

  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • 1971,1975, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 44 min, 1 Hr 59 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 34.5 Mbps, 26 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Bernard Fresson, Frédéric de Pasquale
  • Directed by William Friedkin, John Frankenheimer
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

The first film was a surprise hit, and it has one of the best car chase scenes in film history (like Steve McQueen's chase in Bullitt). It won five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Part II is not quite as good as Part I, but it still is an incredible story.

Technical

Part I is extremely grainy, but is as sharp as a razor, while Part II has no visible grain but is not as sharp. I think they applied a low-pass filter on Part II. The sound in Part II doesn't have much of a soundstage.

Extras

These include Director's Introduction, Actors' Commentary, Hackman on Doyle, Scene of the Crime, Rogue Cop: The Noir Connection, The Music of Don Ellis, and The Poughkeepsie Shuffle.