The French Connection – 2/28/19

The French Connection

Winner of Five Academy Awards® including Best Picture

Screening Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7:30 PM

Arguably the greatest American crime film ever made, The French Connection stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as two NYPD detectives doggedly pursuing the ringleader of a global heroin smuggling syndicate (Fernando Rey). Based on actual characters and loosely mimicking real events, the film rebuffs political correctness to portray a grungy, streetwise view of the mean streets of 1970s New York City. Distinguished as the first R-rated film to win the Oscar® for Best Picture, it also took home trophies for director (William Friedkin), best actor (Hackman), adapted screenplay (Ernest Tidyman) and editing (Gerald B. Greenberg). In addition to the Oscar® haul, the film is famous for the most relentless and brain-jangling car chase in cinema history. Also featuring Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, who were the real-life inspiration for the Hackman and Scheider characters, as well as Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi and Bill Hickman, who also doubled as the film’s fearless stunt driver.

Introduction by Richard Crudo, ASC

Richard Crudo, ASC is a six-term past president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). He has worked as a cinematographer on more than thirty features, including American Pie and American Buffalo. He’ll share insights into Owen Roizman, ASC’s knockout cinematography for The French Connection, which has just been voted No. 10 on the ASC’s list of 100 Milestone Films in Cinematography of the 20th Century.

35mm print courtesy of the ConstellationCenter Collection at the Academy Film Archive.

Gene Hackman & Owen Roizman
Gene Hackman Views Owen Roizman’s Setup for The French Connection

Popeye the Sailor in The Spinach Roadster (1936, Dave Fleischer)

Tonight’s cartoon features the first of two car chases on the evening’s program with a “Popeye” behind the wheel.

The Spinach Roadster