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The French Connection [XDBX Film Club 01]

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The French Connection

The French Connection

About

  • Released


  • Rating


    7.5
  • Genre


    • Action
    • Crime
    • Thriller

Overview

Tough narcotics detective 'Popeye' Doyle is in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a huge heroin-smuggling operation.


Trailer

Credits

  • Gene Hackman
    Gene Hackman
    Jimmy Doyle
  • Fernando Rey
    Fernando Rey
    Alain Charnier
  • Roy Scheider
    Roy Scheider
    Buddy Russo
  • Tony Lo Bianco
    Tony Lo Bianco
    Sal Boca
  • Marcel Bozzuffi
    Marcel Bozzuffi
    Pierre Nicoli
  • Frédéric de Pasquale
    Frédéric de Pasquale
    Devereaux
This page uses the themoviedb.org API.
LimeGreenLegend

The first film for the XDBX Film Club has been chosen, with The French Connection, picked by @Beez winning out over all of the other Best Picture winners.

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The theme for this month was Best Picture winners, with The French Connection winning in 1971, beating films like Fiddler on the Roof and A Clockwork Orange.  It also picked up Oscars for best director (William Friedkin, who would later direct The Exorcist), best actor (Gene Hackman playing Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle), best adapted screenplay (Ernest Tidyman based on the book by Robin Moore), and best film editing.  It received nominations for best supporting actor (Roy Scheider playing Buddy "Cloudy" Russo), best cinematography and best sound mixing.

The French Connection is based on a real case of New York narcotic agents busting an international heroin operation.  The two real cops that are the basis of Hackman and Scheider's characters were on set when it was filmed, acting as consultants and adding a real authenticity to the performances.  There is also authenticity in the way Friedkin directed the film.  This is because Hollywood was undergoing a massive change in the late 60s/early 70s, the new film makers were moving away from the "Old Hollywood" way of doing things, where the studio was in control and the director was just a hired hand, and taking inspiration from European films, where the director was totally in control of their vision, particularly, at this time, French cinema.  Two big inspirations for this film were the French films "Breathless" and "Z".  Friedkin took the almost documentary style of film making used in these films and took it to the streets of New York, which is as big a character in The French Connection as Popeye Doyle.  All of the film was shot on location using handheld cameras for the most part, so it really feels like you're on the streets, following these guys around.

The French Connection also contains what is arguably the best chase scene in film history.  It's quite a simple setup; Hackman's character is chasing a guy, who escapes on to a train.  Hackman commandeers a car and chases the train.  What makes it incredible is how real it is.  It is actually Gene Hackman driving that fast down real streets, with real traffic at some points.  That's because they didn't have official permission to film it, they just had some off duty and retired cops helping them slow the traffic down enough to be able to  film.  They did hire some stunt drivers to come in the opposite direction for some exciting close calls, but a lot of those ended up in actual crashes, and some of those ended up in the film.  It's what a real car chase would look like, not something from Fast and Furious or Bond films, as exciting as they are.

I won't go into story details in this first post, just to say that it's a real tense slow-burn of a film that builds up perfectly to fantastic ending.

@Con @JustHatched @nkaujrog @Fido_le_muet @Beez @djw180 @omarcomin71 @Spinnaker1981 @Dodge thanks for participating in this!  Hope you enjoy the film, and feel free to get as spoilery as you want in this thread :D any other general comments or questions about the film club please post in the main thread here 

This will be our film until the end of the month, so try to watch it as soon as possible giving you enough time to post here.  The new film will be chosen the first week of next month.

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Con

So pumped to watch this since It will be my first time doing so, not even gonna read the full synopsis until after I watch the movie cause I want to know very little. And my mind is already doing gymnastics as we are currently in a heroin/opioid crisis here in the USA so im ready to watch a 70's movie dealing with the same issues we have in 2019!!! Wow!!!

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punkbish85

A nice Sunday afternoon with popcorn and soda already in the works!

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Con
42 minutes ago, nkaujrog said:

A nice Sunday afternoon with popcorn and soda already in the works!

Cannot wait to listen to the podcast!!!!

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omarcomin71

 Does anybody know where to find this movie streaming ?   I was able to find it in HD on Amazon prime to rent for 3.99. 

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"The Game is out there. And it's either play or get played"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkBRYq2UbHE

 

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Fido_le_muet

Never seen it so I'm happy to do it soon. I'm on holiday too so it's gonna happen in the next few days, maybe even today :) 

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Spinnaker1981

I don’t think I ever saw this one, but if it beat Clockwork Orange it has to be really something.... searching for “rental” sites now... 😂

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Danielle
4 hours ago, omarcomin71 said:

 Does anybody know where to find this movie streaming ?   I was able to find it in HD on Amazon prime to rent for 3.99. 

I sent you a message

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Con
7 hours ago, omarcomin71 said:

 Does anybody know where to find this movie streaming ?   I was able to find it in HD on Amazon prime to rent for 3.99. 

Hit the local library. I’d be surprised if they don’t have a copy to lend you.

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djw180
On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 1:59 PM, Con said:

Hit the local library. I’d be surprised if they don’t have a copy to lend you.

My local library doesn't have it, but I've found it elsewhere.

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Fido_le_muet

Just watched it. Liked it :) 

Do we give it a grade or just our thoughts about it ? 

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LimeGreenLegend
Just now, Fido_le_muet said:

Just watched it. Liked it :) 

Do we give it a grade or just our thoughts about it ? 

You can grade it if you want, but you don't have to.  I've never been a fan of just giving a number to something.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it (especially how good the subtitles were for the French parts :D )


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Con

 

1 minute ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

You can grade it if you want, but you don't have to.  I've never been a fan of just giving a number to something.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it (especially how good the subtitles were for the French parts :D )

I think giving it a grade or posting thoughts both work, obviously I will most likely have more to discuss with you guys if you post your thoughts as opposed to just a number grade...or post a number grade and then come back and throw some words after the number. Obviously we dont want a person that hated the film to be forced to write a few sentences. As for me im going to maximize the spirit of the "club".

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Fido_le_muet
3 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

You can grade it if you want, but you don't have to.  I've never been a fan of just giving a number to something.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it (especially how good the subtitles were for the French parts :D )

I meant grading it but alongside a proper review.

French subtitles were pretty good, very faithful. Also liked hat it was shot on location in Marseille.

But Marseille is written Marseilles in the opening, boooo! Mistake ! 

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LimeGreenLegend
3 minutes ago, Fido_le_muet said:

I meant grading it but alongside a proper review.

French subtitles were pretty good, very faithful. Also liked hat it was shot on location in Marseille.

But Marseille is written Marseilles in the opening, boooo! Mistake ! 

I meant alongside also, I don’t just want people putting a number in this thread after watching the film :D 

Will you be taking points off for that mistake though ;) 

How did you know it was Marseille? Was there a famous landmark you saw? Would love to know.  To me, that just looks like any part of coastal France, absolutely beautiful :) 

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Con
2 minutes ago, Fido_le_muet said:

I meant grading it but alongside a proper review.

French subtitles were pretty good, very faithful. Also liked hat it was shot on location in Marseille.

But Marseille is written Marseilles in the opening, boooo! Mistake ! 

Now that's delicious insight since no way in heck I would have picked up on that. The only thing I will request is that you hide the spoiler moments, although Im the type that avoids all reviews until I have watched the material for myself. But I would hate to click on the thread and have my quick eyes read something that would spoil the film. 

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Fido_le_muet
Just now, LimeGreenLegend said:

Yeah you can do it alongside a review.

Will you be taking points off for that mistake though ;) 

How did you know it was Marseille? Was there a famous landmark you saw? Would love to know.  To me, that just looks like any part of coastal France, absolutely beautiful :) 

A couple landmarks were shown. The 'Bonne Mère', the basilica overlooking the city, also the cathedral, the Chateau d'If located on an island and a stretch of road called 'the Corniche' that goes along the sea shore. I'm sure there were a couple other but I have never been to Marseille myself :D Still very famous locations that everyone in France knows about. They're often seen in movies or tv shows taking place in the city. 

French dialogue were very good, but the actor playing Charnier is definitely not french. :lol: Wikipedia tells me he was spanish. Booo, another mistake 😛 Subtitles were spot on though and very faithful to what was being said in french. 

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LimeGreenLegend

Just finished watching this and have made four pages of notes!  I'll try not to bore you all with my write up sometime tomorrow if I'm able to make out my handwriting.

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Con
7 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Just finished watching this and have made four pages of notes!  I'll try not to bore you all with my write up sometime tomorrow if I'm able to make out my handwriting.

Bring all them notes on I want to read everything you wrote down!!! Although, I wont read them until I watch the film and you know, Im feeling inspired to do so tonight. Although I really have to finish up watching the Best Pic nominees....I only have four more to go...

Vice, The Black Panther, Blackkklansman, and Green Book. 

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djw180

I saw this over the weekend. It wasn't the best quality version but all I could find that was cheap and I had to watch in 3 parts in between doing other stuff at home. (In case anyone else still has to see this, I have now found I could have got it through one of the PSN apps for £2.49!) The subtitles for the French parts were hard, if not impossible to read, but even with my poor French I think I could tell what was going on without understanding exactly what they were saying. So I'm sure would have enjoyed it more had I been able to watch it all in one go and a decent version.

Overall I'd say for it was OK for me, but not more than that. I'm not a fan of tough-cop characters like Popeye Doyle. I find it hard to care about what happens to them. I have to say I did not get any impression of why he was a detective; what was his motivation? was he genuinely driven to protect people from the drug traffickers or was it just a job to him?  Also whilst I get why it was shot the way it was that sort of gritty realism, or whatever you call it, doesn't appeal to me.

It was certainly a good film, well made, well acted. Gene Hackman is a great actor, no matter what I think of the character he's playing. Fernando Rey also was very good. Personally I didn't find the basic story that interesting and I don't think me missing out on the French dialogue could have had that much of an effect.

3/5 for me.

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LimeGreenLegend

This may be a long post, sorry about that :D 

I took notes for the entire film so will be going through it scene by scene, so spoilers if you've not yet watched it.  there'll be a TL;DR at the end if you can't be bothered reading it all :P 

We start off with a loud, sharp blast of music, demanding out attention right away.  The opening credits are very basic, white text on black background, which mirrors the style of film.  You already know that this is not going to be some over the top action film just from this.

The first scene we find ourselves in France, the streets are narrow and the way it's shot makes it feel very claustrophobic.  We start following a guy, and again, the direction makes us feel like voyeurs, like we are following this guy ourselves.  There's no dialogue, no music, just a quiet tension.  He enters a darkened hallway and finds someone waiting for him.  Just like the music from the credits, the violence here is quick and loud and, for the time, quite graphic.  I think this scene is a great way to start.  Without saying a word we have a mystery, a killing.  Something to care about. 

We then cut to Brooklyn, sometime around Christmas.  This is in stark contrast to the sunny streets of France.  This place is cold and busy and loud, much like the main character, played by Gene Hackman.  We meet Popeye (Hackman) and Buddy (Roy Scheider), undercover on the streets, one dressed as Santa, the other a hotdog cart dude.  They witness a drug deal and chase the suspect down.  This foot chase really reminded me of the scene late in Reservoir Dogs, where the cops are chasing down Mr. Pink.  I checked after watching and Tarantino pretty much copied it shot for shot.  When they catch up with the suspect Popeye starts to beat the shit out of him, so we already know that this guy is not a hero.  The "picking your feet in Poughkeepsie" lines also show that he is also not conventional in his methods, making not so much a good cop/bad cop dynamic, more a good cop/insane cop one.  Most of this interrogation scene is also shot in one take, no edits, which I love.  It really gives the actors time to perform.  

After this, we're back in France.  Jumping back and forth like this early on in the film really emphasises the differences between Popeye and the antagonist of the film, Alain Charnier.  Where Popeye is loud and brash and aggressive, like the city he's from, Charnier is well spoken, cultured and sophisticated, what many Hollywood films consider Europeans to be.  He's not the typical drug pusher that Popeye would be used to.  His sophistication is enforced by the dialogue with his lover.  They talk about shopping, she bought him a fur coat, he fishes off the edge of his house.  He is so confident that his plan will work that he doesn't need to spend time worrying about it.  

Back in Brooklyn, Popeye is talking to Buddy and uses two or three racial slurs in about ten seconds.  This guy is totally not a heroic cop to be looked up to, if you haven't got that already.  I don't think he's racist, he's shown to have a friendly relationship with a black undercover cop later in the film, he's just an asshole who doesn't care if he upsets you.  In the next scene, in the nightclub, we see that he can also be charming when he needs to be, flirting with the hostess and joking and laughing around.  Having the real girl group, The Three Degrees, singing about going to the moon made me laugh, just because it time-stamped the film so much.  Just from that you would know it was made between 69-71.  The song fades out when Popeye focuses in on Sal Boca, replaced with a sustained high note, indicating his focus, showing that he's always on the job.  

We then get the first of several stake out scenes, following Sal Boca.  The conversation between Popeye and Buddy in the car is very natural, felt like real conversation.  There was a strange shot of a hat in the back window of the car that confused me, so I looked it up, and that was a was of cops back in the day indicating that they were undercover on a case.  The music in this scene is fantastic, it's very sparse to begin with, becoming very off-beat.  I wrote it down as "dark jazz", it fits the setting and the character of Popeye really well.

After a short scene in France of Charnier arranging to have a TV star smuggle the drugs in his car, we get a montage of Sal Boca, the guy they saw in the club, meeting with different people.  Narration over the top explains who he is and his connection to local drug dealers.  This scene probably has the most dialogue of any scene so far.  This film is a really good example of "show, don't tell".  The shots of the New York streets are all gorgeous as well, especially the shot of Popeye and Buddy in silhouette, the bridge behind them also in silhouette, and  a dusky, smoky orange light shining through the background.

Going into a local bar on a drugs bust, he loudly declares "Popeye's here!" showing us what his reputation is like, everyone knows who he is and how he likes to go about his business.  He asks someone very aggressively "what's my name?" and you get the feeling that he would be pissed off at anyone who didn't know.  I love how during all of this Buddy is just casually standing in the background, letting him get on with it.  That's pretty much all he does in this film, thinking about it.  I love how Popeye has a nickname for everyone in the bar, "baldy", "whiskers", "noddy", "haircut", he doesn't care what your name is, he'll just say what he sees.  I also like this set.  Not that it is a set, it's a real bar.  All of this film was shot on real locations and I feel like it really adds to the atmosphere in scenes like this.  Everything looks used, and like it's there for a purpose, because it is.  In this scene Popeye learns of a big foreign shipment of heroin coming in.

In the police station we get Popeye and Buddy getting a dressing down from their chief.  He mentions how they made 100 arrests and they were mostly kids with a bit of weed, they've never made a big bust, which will explain their (especially Popeye's) determination when they feel like they're on to something big, like they are now.  This was also another nice long take, love those.

We then see the drug car arrive in New York.  There is a media presence there due to the TV star.  I feel like this shows the arrogance of Charnier, he knew there would be cameras there filming everything, but he doesn't care because he's smarter than everyone else.  He is also shown to be literally watching everything from above, a really strong visual metaphor for how he sees himself.  

Back with the police, we're in the station, a load of cops trying to put all these leads together, and everyone is smoking.  I miss seeing that in films, all the smoke billowing around makes things look more cinematic to me.  We are also shown that the other cops don't like Popeye, which isn't surprising by now.

We cut to a bar, the next morning.  Popeye, who has been asleep at the bar, wakes up and looks like shit.  He clearly hasn't changed clothes, hasn't shaved, bags under the eyes.  I assume he's been up at the bar all night drinking, but also working on the case.  The radio on the bar is talking about moving to Florida, saying how sunny it is, talking about the fresh air.  Another contrast to Brooklyn.  We then see Buddy looking sharp in a nice overcoat, freshly pressed trousers, clean shaved, nice haircut.  They're the original odd couple!  I do like how this film shows that they have opposite personalities in ways like this, rather then just having the characters say it.  Buddy knocks on Popeye's door, "let yourself in", and he uses a credit card to jimmy the lock, I just thought that was funny.  Obviously, Popeye's flat is a fucking mess, there's a naked chick in the bathroom and he's handcuffed to the bed, so it was a good night.  But I noticed that in all that mess, the case file was on top of everything, showing that he takes his job seriously.

After a scene of Charnier overseeing his plan, making sure it unfolds as it should, we get a scene of Popeye and Buddy listening in to a wire tap on Sal Boca.  I like how friendly they are with each other here, we've not really seen much of that yet, but here they're bursting out laughing, joking with each other.  It was sweet.  They also overhear the deal between Boca and Charnier's men, giving them their "French connection".  It took 42 minutes for the film to get to this point, the detectives finally putting everything together.  This film isn't afraid to take it's time.  It's also not bogged down with any subplots or romantic interests.  The plot is the plot and there's nothing else.

We now see Popeye, Buddy and some other guy (FBI guy from an earlier scene I think) tailing Chernier in a car and we get some beautiful shots of some bridges, nice low angled shots showing off the towering height of them.  There's no music for this scene, it has a natural tension and doesn't need anything added to it, something this film does really well.  I also love the distinctive look of 70s New York, it really makes films like this, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver etc really stand out.  

Popeye eventually tails Chernier to a luxury hotel where, from outside, he watches him enjoy a lavish lunch.  Here we again see the different lives our main characters live, Charnier is in the lap of luxury, bright lights and colours and rich food and fine clothes while Popeye is out on the street in the cold, his nose is running, he's rubbing his hands together and stamping his feet to stay warm.  Again, the music is used very sparingly, like a seasoning rather than a main ingredient.  

After, we get a scene of the heroin being tested for purity.  That's real heroin they're using as well.  The close ups of all the equipment, and showing so much of the process shows how important this moment is, if the heroin is pure everyone there becomes very rich.  I like the line the chemist gives, "this is junk of the month club sirloin steak".  The apartment they're in is again all colourful and expensive looking, showing what sort of world these people live in, compared to Popeye's shithole of a flat.

We now get Popeye tailing Charnier through the streets.  Charnier sees him and figures out he's being followed and we get a real tense cat and mouse chase.  The music again matches the scene, building in intensity as they move through the streets and into the subway until he catches up with him, at which point it abruptly stops, bringing attention to this moment.  Charnier outsmarts Popeye and gives him a cocky, condescending wave from the train as it pulls away, leaving him frustrated on the platform.

Leaving New York for the first time in a while, we now find ourselves in Washington D.C.  Charnier has come here, out of Popeye's reach, to meet with Sal Boca, who is now very paranoid.  On the flight back Charnier tells Nicoli, his private assassin and the killer from the first scene, that "he sees policemen in his soup".  Nicoli says he should kill Popeye but Charnier tells him to leave it because some other cop would just replace him.  Nicoli then says that they'll be back in France in a few days before that could happen.  The scene ends without Charnier saying either yes or no, so you are left in doubt as to Popeye's safety. 

Back in New York, Popeye is getting admonished by his chief over the case, "you've wasted two months on this".  This reflects the slow pace of the film, and it also shows how obsessed Popeye is getting.  He's not on any other case, he's purely focused on Charnier, especially after he humiliated him on the subway.  We then see him walking through the streets, looking dejected.  Out of nowhere he is shot at.  The shot misses him but hits a woman pushing a pram, leaving the baby screaming.  Shocking noise and violence out of near silence is something this film does a few times to great effect.  Popeye pulls off a few sweet combat rolls as he gives chase to the shooter.

There's no music in this scene, again, it's already exciting enough on its own, anything else would be too much and also take away from the documentary style feel of the film.  All you can hear is Popeye's heavy breathing, which shows us how hard he's working to catch up.  Just like earlier, he loses his suspect on a train.  But because he was beaten last time he's now more determined to catch him this time.  He commandeers a car (I love the guy saying "fer christ sake" quietly as Popeye drives his car away) and starts to chase the overhead train.

What follows is considered one of the best chase scenes in film history, and I completely agree with that.  From the start it feels dangerous, it looks real.  He's not doing handbrake turns around corners or crazy jumps, he's just driving as fast as he can through traffic.  I love the engine noise of this car, I don't know what car it is (maybe @Fido_le_muet or @Beez could help ;)) but it sounds amazing.  I also love the urgency of Popeye during all of this, he's screaming and shouting and pounding his fist on the horn.  In a lot of car chases it seems like the drivers are not at all hyped up or excited.  The crashes are real crunchy feeling as well.  That's probably because they weren't supposed to happen, they were real crashes with other stunt cars but they looked cool so they were put in the film.  

My favourite thing about this scene is the camera mounted low on the front bumper of the car giving you these amazing low angled shots of the streets and all the traffic whizzing past at 80mph.  While Nicoli, the shooter, is being chased by Popeye in a car on the streets, he is also being chased through the train by the guards, so for a short while he was being double chased!  He shoots the guard though so that doesn't last for long.  The train eventually crashes because the driver passed out and a groggy Nicoli makes his way off.  Popeye has caught up by now, and when he sees Nicoli you get a sudden stab of music, highlighting the importance.  

Nicoli starts to make his way down the steps to the street, but sees Popeye, and freezes.  No music here, again the film doesn't need it.  Popeye pulls his gun and Nicoli turns.  He shouts "don't move" but before Nicoli could do anything at all he shoots him.  In the back.  This was something you never saw the cop protagonist of a Hollywood movie doing.  This film is one of the first big examples of the anti-hero, a good guy who's not so good, and 70s Hollywood was full of them after this film.

Following this we see Sal Boca and all his guys looking busy.  Popeye has killed Nicoli and this seems to have shaken up the hive a bit, everyone has a bit more urgency, and the music for this scene reflects this.  We see Buddy tailing Boca into a parking garage.  A long, high sustained note when he enters and comes face to face with him, but Sal doesn't know who and doesn't suspect anything, but Buddy has seen the heroin car.

Another stake out scene, watching the car.  This one was my favourite, it was perfectly paced, music helping build the tension, minimal dialogue, just letting the tension hang there.  All of a sudden another car stops next to the drug car, you hear "hit 'em", and instantly there are lights, sirens, cops bundling in, it's a real wake up and another example of sudden action/violence out of near silence.  

We now get a montage of Popeye and Buddy pulling the car apart looking for the drugs.  They don't find any.  You can see Popeye's frustration and obsession, his shirt is filthy, looks tired.  At the start of the film we saw him drinking, going to clubs, sleeping with women.  Not anymore, this case is too important to him for any of those distractions.  Charnier is beating him and he doesn't like it.  

Eventually they find the drugs.  They put them back where there were and give the car back to the TV dude, knowing it will lead them to the deal.  There's also another really nice long take at the end of this scene.  

We're now at the drug deal.  There is basically no dialogue here, again you are shown everything you need to know, you don't need anyone saying it.  As Charnier is driving off after the deal there is a great POV shot of the car going over the brow of a hill just to see a police roadblock at the end of the road, Popeye stood out front waving at him, like he did on the train.  Charnier backs up back to the warehouse and these is a sudden and quick shootout between the police and Charnier's guys.  Sal Boca gets both barrels of a shotgun to the chest from Buddy, and you see some great 70s fake blood, the real bright stuff.  

The final scene of the film is shot almost like a horror film (Friedkin will later direct The Exorcist) lost of slow POV shots of Popeye walking through a decrepit abandoned warehouse, sudden movement in the corner of the room.  He opens fire, but he didn't shoot Charnier, he shot one of the FBI agents helping with the case.  He doesn't care though, shows no remorse.  He wants Charnier and he's going to get him.  He hears a noise and walks in to a room.  The camera stays outside.  There is a gunshot and it cuts to black.

I really wish the film ended there, it would be perfect.  I don't need to know what happened in that room, if Popeye shot Charnier or the other way around.  Or if it even was Charnier.  Unfortunately, there are title cards after that tell you what happened to everyone after the film.  Charnier got away and was never caught, and Popeye and Buddy got transferred to a different department, so what happened in that room?  Who shot who?  Most of the criminals involved got away with very lenient sentences, which is also unsatisfying.  This is based on what really happened, but I'd rather not know any of it, just let the film end after that last gunshot.

Despite not liking the very ending of the film, I still think it is absolutely fantastic.  The direction, acting, music, editing, everything works together towards a common vision.  It's not overly complicated like a lot of films like this tend to be, the plot is very straightforward and is given room and time to develop in a natural way.  I totally believe all of the actions that every character perform and I believe the reasons behind them.  I particularly loved the music, there isn't too much of it, which really helps the atmosphere of the film, and when it was there it was there to enhance the action, not dictate it.  Gene Hackman is a fantastic actor, and this film shows that.  He's not a likeable character, but I loved watching him.  Roy Schieder was just kind of there, but he's always a solid actor.  Fernando Rey and Tony Lo Bianco were also really good as Charnier and Sal Boca.  To me, this film really exemplifies everything that 70s Hollywood would become in the next few years and is just a straight up brilliant crime drama.  9/10

If you read all of that, thank you very much :D 

 

 

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Pb76

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JustHatched

I've not read that yet @LimeGreenLegend, think I will need a nap first and after...

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The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it!!

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JustHatched

Love you too @LimeGreenLegend, one thing this site lacks is being able to "like" that middle finger..

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The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it!!

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LimeGreenLegend
1 minute ago, JustHatched said:

Love you too @LimeGreenLegend, one thing this site lacks is being able to "like" that middle finger..

If we add the ability to like the likes then where will it end?!


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Fido_le_muet

 

 

 

Saw it last night. 

Like DJ, I watched it in less than ideal condition, taking care of the baby in the meantime and the quality of the film that I found wasn't perfect, most notably sound wise. Had to crank up the volume during dialogues but it was too loud when there was music or action scenes. 

Spoilers ahead ! 

Still liked it. It was a bit too long at the beginning. First scene with the killing in Marseille. I had no idea who that guy was until I read the summary on Wikipedia. It introduces the hitman but other than that it's unecessary. After reading Lime's post, I see that it also sets up the tone of the movie. And you have to put it back in the context of the time (the 70s). 

Slow paced beginning but then it accelerates until the ending. Definitely loved the second part better. At first I didn't really know where the movie was going. Probably because the baby didn't want her bottle and was pissing me off. The plot wasn't moving fast enough for my taste. Then everything falls into place. The car with the drugs in it, the connection between Sal and Charnier, Popeye's addiction to the case and him slowly losing it and becoming obsessed with taking out the dealers. 

The chase scene was really great. I liked that it wasn't too scripted like we always see nowadays. Great use of the lowered camera, gives a sense of speed and narrows the field of view. 

The ending was pretty great in the abandonned factory. I was mildly shocked when Popeye killed that fed and kept going like nothing happened. It kinda took away my interest in his character and I couldn't care less what happened to him after that. I wasn't really invested in him from the beginning but at the end it was much worse. But I guess it was the aim of the director, to show an antihero like that. 

Then the final scene with the gunshot and the black screen. I didn't know what to think of that until after I switched everything off and went to bed. But then I realised

 

that Popeye must have killed Charnier there and somehow covered it up with his buddy, hence why they're sent to another unit afterwards. But since it's based on real facts, I don't really know if it's the correct interpretation. Maybe Charnier went back to France after all.

Good movie, definitely not one of my fav but still liked it. You have to keep in mind the context of the time and the context of the film industry/cop movies at the time.

7/10

Special note : when the french man is eating at the restaurant, of course he is eating snails... Not cliché at all... But in fairness, it kinda suits the time period and how wealthy he is. I'll let it slide this once :D 

Edited by Fido_le_muet
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LimeGreenLegend

Good write up @Fido_le_muet, I like your idea about the ending.  Just because it’s based on a real case doesn’t mean they have to make everything accurate.

And of course the rich Frenchman had to eat snails :D 


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Fido_le_muet
1 minute ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

And of course the rich Frenchman had to eat snails :D 

It was that or frog legs :D 

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Spinnaker1981
1 hour ago, Fido_le_muet said:

It was that or frog legs :D 

I enjoy both so who cares?? 😂😂

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