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The French Connection


#92 - The French Connection
William Friedkin, 1971



A loose-cannon detective is determined to trace a drug-trafficking source by any means necessary.

The last time I watched The French Connection was at least a decade or so ago, so of course I wanted to see if it held up. It did for the most part. The legendary car chase is still one of the best action scenes of the 1970s, but everything else...well, that's kind of the curse of being such an influential and acclaimed movie. Gene Hackman is decent enough as the lead detective who's flawed enough that your sympathy for his crime-fighting cause is basically the only thing there is to like about him, which was probably the point but does seem a double-edged sword. Roy Scheider serves well as his slightly less grouchy partner, while Fernando Rey is also good as the incredibly sophisticated villain. Beyond that, it does feel like just another detective movie covered over with early-1970s grime and while that doesn't make it bad, I personally think that it's not all that amazing in its own right. We'll see if it ends up being another decade before I watch it again.