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French Connection [Blu-ray] (2012)

Gene Hackman , Fernando Rey , William Friedkin  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.99
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French Connection [Blu-ray] + French Connection 2 [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008YAPRPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,104 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Welcome to the Filmmakers Signature Series on Blu-rayT. Enjoy this highly acclaimed, realistic crime drama from innovative director William Friedkin with authentic high-quality picture and sound, true to the director's vision. This new HD transfer comes with an exclusive 28-page booklet on the making of the film, which includes in-depth actor and director profiles. Based on a true story, The French Connection stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as detectives who aim their sharp instincts and unconventional methods at the international suppliers of New York's heroin trade. The French Connection earned 8 Academy Awardr Nominations and 5 Wins,* including Best Director for groundbreaking "New Hollywood" director Friedkin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
148 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
(NOTE: For updated info on the new 2012 blu-ray release, check out the second half of this review below)

"The French Connection" is a fantastic time capsule of a film; a solid crime drama enhanced tremendously by great performances, crackling dialogue, terrific stunt work and wonderful location shooting in and around NYC that captures The Big Apple during its 1970's heyday as a scummy, gritty cesspool of a town. It's a fine example of 1970's American cinema, a classic of its type and a must-see, if not a must-own, for fans of crime dramas and police procedurals. Without question, a five star film (out of five).

Regarding specifically the 2009 2-disc blu-ray release, Director William Friedkin has apparently decided that the gritty, documentary-like feel to the original cinematography of his film was not gritty and documentary-like enough; instead of taking advantage of the latest technological advances to clean up or restore an original master of this classic film, director Friedkin decided that he would revisit his 39-year-old masterpiece so as to make it look decidedly worse. Using various digital filters, he has amped up the noise and graininess, distorted and smeared the color scheme with a bizarre "pastel" look, and blown out the contrast, all to give "The French Connection" an (intentionally) worn-out, distorted look that really does change the visuals of the film.

Unfortunately, rather than giving the film a more "cinéma vérité" feel (as was the director's intention), this inexplicable digital makeover adds absolutely nothing to the film's impact save for scads of fake film grain, alternately faded and dull hues and crappier contrast.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Tuminaro Case" August 15, 2003
Format:DVD
The Tuminaro Case. That is what the law enforcement community calls "the French Connection" case of 1968. Two rough-and-tumble NYPD Narcotics detectives named Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso stumbled on a heroin-smuggling ring which spanned the Atlantic and linked the New York Mafia with a French mob operating out of Marsailles, which, if you are not familiar with it, is a great port city in the Mediterranean famous for, among other things, being a stop on the great heroin pipeline between Turkey, Siciily, Corsica, Continental Europe, and the Big Apple. This discovery was the birth of the understanding that the heroin trade was big international business, being conducted on a breathtaking scale, and the efforts of local cops and a few federal agents to stop it by busting junkies and street dealers was as ludicrous as handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.
In the end, somewhere between 100 - 300 kilos of pure heroin were seized, the ring was smashed, two cops sprung to fame by making the big case ("Went through The Door", in NYPD Narc lexicon), and the soon-to-be legendary NYPD Special Investigations Unit was created. But at what cost, and to what end?
This is what the film version of "The French Connection" examines, changing the names of the players (to Popeye Doyle, played by the great Gene Hackman, and Cloudy Russo, played by the criminally underrated Roy Schieder, respectively) but leaving the basic facts of the story intact. Very few movies have attempted to show the methodology and mind-set of Narc detectives without either glamorizing them or apologizing for them; "TFC" does neither. Doyle is a truly disgusting human being, but a [darn] good cop.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films ever made October 27, 2006
Format:DVD
Even though there's nothing to say about this now 35-year-old masterpiece that hasn't been said by someone somewhere, I can't resist offering my opinion on the greatest cop movie ever made and, in all likelihood, one of the 10 best films ever made.

How can a film be better than this one? It deservedly won five Oscars including best picture, best actor (Gene Hackman), its script and editing. Film editing is probably the most common downfall of a movie that is the least understood by the average filmgoer. aside from inane scriptwriting, it is editing that either turns individual scenes into something larger that its parts or robs those scenes of their vigor and value by misplacing them in the overall sequence of events.

There are so many good things going on in this film -- the action, ultra-intelligent script based on a real life incident, the acting, the locations, the searing score using knife sharp high strings and bellowing lower strings, and William Friedkin's monumental direction that included the unplanned train chase scene that is now considered the greatest chase in film ("We didn't ask anyone for a permit," Friedkin said. "We just did it.") -- that it is somewhat foolhardy to identify one element as the key to this masterpiece. Still, I believe the editing is what transforms "French Connection" from five stars to masterpiece.

I first saw this movie in 1971 during a matinee at an old big city theatre, now bulldozed, the kind of theatre that used to exist before malls took over the industry. While the chase scene was just as riveting then as now on the big screen, it was an earlier scene that more captivated me.

In the second scene, Hackman and Scheider go to a drinking establishment where a Supremes-like trio is singing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining after all these years.
Maybe I'm just easily impressed, but I really think this was a good film. I'm told there was a sequel, and I don't wish to see it -the movie is perfect as it is.
Published 19 hours ago by Randomnerd
2.0 out of 5 stars Too violent... Stopped watching in 15 minutes ...
Too violent ... Stopped watching in 15 minutes.
Published 13 days ago by E. Nichols
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 16 days ago by jack
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality vs Stupidity
Tired of watching fantasy films of Angelina Jolie kicking the #$%@!$ out of some 250lb guy with a flick of her wrist? Then watch the French Connection. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Timothy M. Schultz
5.0 out of 5 stars This 1971 Oscar Winning Film For Best Picture, Showed The Locations Of...
This 1971 Oscar Winning Film For Best Picture,Showed The Locations Of New York City In Early 1970s. The Car Chase Scene In Brooklyn New York , Under The Elevated Train, Was Of The... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Matthew Bulger
5.0 out of 5 stars ... ''To Live and Die in LA'' are the two best I have ever seen
The chase scenes in ''The French Connection'' and ''To Live and Die in LA'' are the two best I have ever seen, and, no coincidence, are both directed by William Friedkin. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Leon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Deal
Outstanding deal. did not want to rent this one so we bought it to watch when local TV stinks.
Published 26 days ago by CharlesG
5.0 out of 5 stars The French Connection
First time seeing it again since it came out in the late '70s. Like the movie 'Bullet' (staring Steve McQueen), The French Connection stands firmly in the top 5 of action crime... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Russell
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe dated?
I watched this movie when it came out, and loved it. But now, it seems a little dated and hard to follow. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sara
3.0 out of 5 stars Horrible
...,,Couldnt even watch it, went in the garbage, skipped , froze,..what a joke, 2 nd time i bought something from amazon that broke
Published 2 months ago by Liquidtodd
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Is this the same release as the Best Buy special edition?
was it a digibook?
Feb 26, 2013 by Istvan Kolnhofer |  See all 2 posts
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