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The French Connection (Five Star Collection) (1971)

Gene Hackman , Roy Scheider , William Friedkin  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)

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  2-Disc Version $13.99  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Writers: Ernest Tidyman, Howard Hawks, Robin Moore
  • Producers: G. David Schine, Kenneth Utt, Philip D'Antoni
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXA3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,978 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The French Connection (Five Star Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disc 1:
  • Scene specific commentary by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider
  • Feature
  • Original Trailer
  • Disc 2:
  • BBC Documentary: Poughkeepsie shouffle
  • "Making the Connection The Untold Stories" documentary
  • 7 deleted scenes
  • William Friedkin discusses the deleted scenes
  • Still gallery
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Based on a true story of two New York Police detectives who hope to break a narcotic smuggling ring.
Item Type: DVD Movie
Item Rating: R
Street Date: 09/25/01
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Language: ENGLISH
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Dubbed: no
Full Frame: no
Re-Release: no
Packaging: Sleeve

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
153 of 161 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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