Watching it tonight. I know it came up recently in thread about the best chase scenes. But beyond that, what a great movie. Taut and tense, and every moment of every scene counts; the mark of a good screenplay (ok, I come to it from the perspective of screenwriter), and great direction. Whenever I see it in my movie list, I pass over it as, yes, great flick, but I've seen it a bunch of times and I'm not in the mood. Tonight I didn't pass it by.
P.S. How refreshing to see something not sullied by political correctness!
I've watched it many times. A great movie. I read the paperback book several times in high school. I have to check, I might still have the book.
Steve "The Marines I have seen around the world have, the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps." Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945
Posts: 3311 | Location: Northeast PA | Registered: June 05, 2000
The only thing I didn't like about the movie is it just ...ends. I've got no problems with ending with a downer (like Chinatown) or the bad guy wins, but just falls flat. Doyle shoots his gun, runs into an empty room, and then we get a montage showing what happened to everyone involved. Surely, there could have been a better way to handle that.
Speaking of which, what everyone's thoughts of French Connection 2? I tried watching it and turned it off after the opening raid where Doyle outs an informant and gets him killed. I like John Frankenheimer, but to think Popeye Doyle, who's worked with informants in the first movie, flags one trying to escape while the French police are telling him to stop is some lazy writing.
Posts: 2340 | Location: Kansas City, MO | Registered: May 28, 2004
...Speaking of which, what everyone's thoughts of French Connection 2? ...
I've only seen it once, and it was a while ago, so I don't remember it well. I do recall a fair amount of time spent on Hoffman's bout with heroin. And that it wasn't nearly as gripping a film as the first. It may have been absorbing, though, with a different pace. I'd have to watch it again.
Originally posted by Pyker: First film was based on a true story...
Correct. Popeye wasn't going to catch Charnier at the end of the film and then give him a great Clint Eastwood/Arnold Schwarzenegger catch phrase line while he tosses him off a building. The film gives you a dry reading of the fates of all the principal characters because, that's the way the case ended up. Unlike a contrived action film, real life dictated that most of those involved in this case got off light. It's difficult to make a spectatcular ending out of that.
The French Connection and Lawrence of Arabia both have endings which are difficult to remember because in the case of these films, the journey is far more entertaining than the destination.
BTW, regarding The French Connection II, you can see the fiction writer's hand quite clearly in the ending of the film, giving viewers the ending they fully expected in the first film.
Re-watching II currently (a couple-few nights during dinner)...My jury is still out on it, but I will say, just saw a great scene with Hackman in the lock-away room recovering from his bout with heroin. Henri, the French cop who is his counterpart is visiting him and brings a bottle of cognac. If you're a Hackman fan, you'd love it; if you are not, you might become one. Hackman recounts a time in his youth when he was a ballplayer and tried out for the Yankees. The way he stumbles on the word "problem", in his drunken state, is beautiful. But he goes on to talk about the tryout and the competition. Happened to be a guy named Mickey Mantle. Made him decide to be a cop. Great bit.