The French Connection

The French Connection ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Along with “Dirty Harry” and “Bullitt,” “The French Connection” signaled the end of the traditional western and the rise of the urban western. I love the feel of this film - the handheld immediacy, the actual locations that look as though you could prick your finger on a rusty nail or hypodermic kneedle. Hackman is of course great and so is Scheider. Everyone loves the car chase, and it’s wondeful, but I get a kick out of the quieter cat-and-mouse game between Popeye and Alain at the subway station. The suspense of it, the wit.

It’s always struck me as odd that this film ends on a gunshot. An ambiguous and foreboding close to be sure, but then the end credit cards tell us what happened to the key players. Kinda undercuts the tension and uncertainty.