A new review from The Movie Snob.
The French Connection (B). I have a love-hate relationship with Dallas’s Magnolia Theater. The parking situation is terrible, and I hate having to pick my “assigned seat” at the kiosk when I buy my ticket. How is this an improvement over walking into the theater and picking your seat then? On the other hand, some movies don’t play anywhere but the Magnolia, and it does have a great running series of classic films. Tuesday night I saw their showing of this 1971 film, which won five Oscars including best picture, best director (William Friedkin, The Exorcist), and best actor (Gene Hackman, Heartbreakers). I thought it was pretty good. It’s a cop movie in which Hackman plays Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, a loose-cannon NYC cop on the narcotics beat. He’s in the doghouse for some past screw-up that got another policeman killed, and when he hears rumors that a massive shipment of drugs is coming into New York from France, heaven help anyone who threatens to get between him and the bust. Roy Scheider (Jaws) plays his calmer partner. The movie is famous for an extended car chase, and it was good, but what struck me was the tedium of the cops’ job. They do a lot of surveillance, which means a lot of following suspicious characters, losing track of the suspicious characters, and sitting in cars overnight watching to see what the suspicious characters are going to do next. It is decidedly low-tech, and it does not look like a lot of fun. Anyway, I enjoyed the film.