Best Picture Winners Part 44 (of 89): The French Connection


Title: The French Connection
Year: 1970
Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins

What It Is: In 1970’s New York a pair of narcotics officers witness a drug transaction and what that leads them to a much more sinister murder in Marseilles. As Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Hackman in a Best Actor-winning role) delves deeper he’ll search for the French Connection that could connect the dots and blow open the entire case. It’s such a taut thriller. One that easily fits in the pantheon of 70’s brilliance. Freidkin is masterful and the car chases hold up 40 plus years later. This is one of those films you have to see in order to call yourself a fan of cinema. A true American classic that ironically focuses itself on a French connection.

Memorable Quote: Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle: Hey you! Haircut! Where are you goin’?

Competition: Immense. There are some all-time classics here! Let’s start however with the least known of these Nicholas and Alexandra. Based on the fall of the Romanovs who are Czar Nicholas and his German bride Alexandra (duh). As a last ditch effort to save their son they enlist Rasputin, a holy man. As the power of Lenin grows a coup is on the Horizon. Fiddler on the Roof is an adaptation of the long-running Broadway play directed by Academy Award-nominated director Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck). It’s a fun romp through a Ukranian village through the eyes of a milkman. The debut of Peter Bogdanovich as a director The Last Picture Show features an all-star cast. This cast features the two supporting winners and of the eight nominees, it features 4. It’s a pseudo-coming of age film filtered through an interesting twist. A Clockwork Orange is Stanley Kubrick painting a bleak picture. One that delves into the nature of violence, as well as societies, influence on it. Join Alex and his droogs for just a little bit of that ultra-violence.

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