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The French Connection

June 10, 2012

by John Farr

What is the best chase scene ever? John Farr gives you the answer.

The French Connection (1971)

What It’s About:
“Connection” relates the fact-based story of narcotics detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider), who use unorthodox means to track down the source of an upcoming heroin influx to New York City. Their obsessive, hard-driving style leads them to a smooth French drug lord (Fernando Rey) attempting to smuggle in a huge shipment of dope from Europe.

Why I Love It:
Gene Hackman’s electrifying performance as Popeye Doyle won him an Oscar and transformed him from supporting player to star. Shot verité-style by William Friedkin, this spellbinding movie evokes the slightly fraying quality of New York thirty years ago, when a fiscal crisis loomed. This only adds to the grit and edginess of this intense film, without question one of the best cop movies ever.

  • View Comments
  • vincent verdi

    What about the chase scene in Bullitt , its use of music and camera shots?

  • Steve

    Bullitt has the streets of San Francisco; The French Connection has the el. McQueen’s a better driver, but Popeye’s a bit more frantic. Both are great!

  • ann

    Of course it is French Connection. Who will ever forget “rocker panels?” Without a doubt, French Connection. Thank you Mr. Farr

  • Nikki

    “Romin.” That’s the best 20 minutes of pure chase!

  • John Farr

    you’ve each named the three movies with the best chases.
    no doubt!

  • Nikki

    . . . and for the best comic car chase, you can’t beat “The Blues Brothers.”