Movie Article

'French' Resistance

Two ''French Connection'' films on laserdisc. The first film's seams begin to show, while its sequel looks better with age

Two ''French Connection'' films on laserdisc

Watching the letterboxed version of William Friedkin's seminal cop drama The French Connection on laserdisc along with its similarly remastered sequel is a surprising experience. Partly, that's because the first Connection hasn't worn well; Ernest Tidyman's script refuses to get inside the characters, and what looked like urban grit in '71 now seems like above-average Kojak. But the better-preserved French Connection II redeems it. Director John Frankenheimer conveys some sense of what drives Gene Hackman's obsessed detective; as a result, though the picture lacks the original's famous car chase, its comparable moral cynicism seems far more earned. Both films: B

Originally posted Mar 04, 1994 Published in issue #212 Mar 04, 1994 Order article reprints
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