93. The French Connection (1971)

“A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.”

This film took me almost a week to watch. And that’s not because it’s long or anything like that. It’s because I feel asleep multiple times during the first forty or so minutes of the film, finally just paused it, and left it up on my computer until the very last minute. The thing is, if I would have just finished watching it, you know, when I had begun it, I would have realized that the last hour of the film is much more interesting than the first forty three minutes.

First off, this film definitely has a 1970s feel to it. That 70s feel is in everything from the camera work to the score composed by Don Ellis.

Most of notes on the beginning of this film are all commentary on the actual plot, and none of it is very helpful in writing this blog, so I’m just gonna go ahead and jump to the part that I really did enjoy.

From the moment Gene Hackman’s character, Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, is being shot at by the character Nicoli, my interest peaked. It finally felt like something was happening in the film. From this moment on, I was hooked. The film finally felt like it was moving at a decent pace.

I don’t know if it’s because one of the last college classes I took was an audio for film class, but for some reason I really noticed things such as footsteps and door creaks and things along that nature in this film. After looking into it, I saw that this film was nominated for an Academy Award for best sound mixing, and that makes complete sense. Very rarely is stuff like that noticeable. And, when it is noticeable, it’s for one of two reasons: it’s either horrific or tremendous. Thankfully, with this film, it was the latter.

When it comes to Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider, I thought they did a magnificent job. What I find odd is that, usually, when I like an actor, they are enough to keep me entertained during a film. However, although their performance was great, I was still quite bored during the beginning of this film.

This blog, unfortunately, is a bit shorter than the others have been. I don’t know if that’s because I’m writing it quite last minute (oops) or if it’s because I did not enjoy this film as much as I had hoped to. Either way, I don’t really have much more to say about it. The acting was great. The sound mixing was fantastic. And the last hour of the film is the only part that I found really interesting.

Grade: C-

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