Skip to Content



U.S., 1971
Directed by William Freidkin
Starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey

Approx. 104 min. DCP.

Traffic problems in Brooklyn, as Gene Hackman’s Popeye Doyle car-chases a killer-bearing B train, after being snookered by Fernando Rey in a cross-midtown shadowing topped by a classic subway door jamming. Multi-Oscared re-creation of a legendary drug bust.

With support from the Ada Katz Fund for Literature in Film.


“1971 was a hell of a year for gritty Big Apple movies… One of the best all-around tours of New York in [the 70s].”
– Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

“Hard-nosed, pork-pie-hatted, vulgar, a tough cop in the latest measure of a fine tradition, [Hackman] exists neither to rise nor to fall, to excite neither pity nor terror—but to function. To function in New York City is its own heroism, and the film recognizes that.”
The New York Times

“A knockout police thriller with so much jarring excitement that it almost calls for comic-book expletives. POW!, ZOWIE!”
– Jay Cocks

“Solid, slick filmmaking, full of dirty cops, shrewd operators, and slam-bang action.”
– Dave Kehr

“Like an aggravated case of New York.”
– Pauline Kael

“Friedkin’s symphony of long, sharp shocks is memorable for any number of sequences: the cat-and-mouse subway game, the ballbusting bar shakedown, a breakneck chase scene that still seems leagues ahead of greatest-ever competitors.”
– David Fear, Time Out New York

“Fraught with urban decay and racial tension, Friedkin’s bang-bang procedural created a paradigm for the tell-it-like-it-is cop drama… While Dirty Harry provided audiences an anti-establishment legal vigilante, THE FRENCH CONNECTION introduced the notion of the heroic working-class narc. Blue-collar to the bone, Popeye lives in public housing and feeds his face with a rancid-looking slice in the course of a freezing afternoon spent staking out on the Upper East Side boîte where the French smuggler who is about to unload 100 pounds of uncut heroin leisurely consumes a multi-course feast.”
– J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

“In a sense, the whole movie is a chase… the smugglers and the law officers are endlessly circling and sniffing each other… Doyle himself is a bad cop, by ordinary standards; he harasses and brutalizes people, he is a racist, he endangers innocent people during the chase scene (which is a high-speed ego trip)… THE FRENCH CONNECTION is as amoral as its hero, as violent, as obsessed and as frightening.”
– Roger Ebert

Film Forum