THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) C widescreen 104m dir: William Friedkin
w/Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzufi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Sonny Grosso
Marvelously exciting story about New York cop Popeye Doyle (Hackman) busting a huge international narcotics ring which is smuggling vast quantities of heroine into the U.S.
From The Movie Guide: "Young director Friedkin produced a suspenseful and utterly absorbing film which incorporated thrills with street humor and routine police work with highly dramatic scenes. The chase scene, an incredible, hair-raising sequence, was shot from Hackman's car with cameras mounted in the back seat and on the front fenders. The police are portrayed as being almost as brutal as the criminals, with Hackman shown to be a near-maniac who will stop at nothing to corral drug offenders."
THE FRENCH CONNECTION won five Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Hackman), Adapted Screenplay (Ernest Tidyman, based on the book by Robin Moore), and Editing (Jerry Greenberg). It was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Scheider), Cinematography (Owen Roizman), and Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Christopher Newman).