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(YouTube) Video Saturday Cinema - The French Connection 2, 1975 - Frog 1 is back, and so is NYPD policeman Popeye Doyle. But Doyle's in France now and there's not a surrender monkey in sight   (youtube.com) divider line 6
    More: Video, Popeye Doyle, N.Y.P.D., William Friedkin  
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732 clicks; posted to Video » on 22 Feb 2014 at 2:15 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-22 10:18:35 AM  
ca.movieposter.com


The French Connection was such a new, visceral picture it seems crazy to follow Gene Hackman's Oscar winning performance, but they did.

Director John Frankenheimer (Ronin, Seven Days in May, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Black Sunday) helmed this picture that has been described as wince inducing. What Doyle did to cars in the French Connection, Frog 1 does to Doyle.

The New York City policeman is sent to France to help his colleagues there identify the heroin smuggling ring at its source. It is hoped that working as a team from both ends, authorities will be able to roll up the organization.

Time is against them as the smugglers are planning an even bigger shipment this time. The massive illegal cargo will be walled up inside a freighter.  Unfortunately, Doyle's impatience leads to him being captured by the returning Fernando Rey.  What happens next is that in an attempt to break Doyle, and humiliate him, the policeman is taken prisoner and pumped full of the heroin that he's been trying to keep out of the US.

Their torment is really quite tough to watch but Hackman's performance is wonderful as is the scene where a little old lady comes in to his room seeming to offer sympathy. What I love about Doyle's rehabilitation is that it's understated. Like in Cast Away, Tom Hanks didn't achieve a zen like state of wisdom because of his experiences, Hackman's portrayal of Doyle changes because of his terrible experiences it doesn't become schmaltzy. Look for the scene when he realizes why his superiors send him.

Deciding not to make this a car chase film disappointed some and the film flopped, but this is less a film about the big bust than it is about what's in Doyle apart from his aggression and bluster.  Deciding to wreck Doyle instead of cars may have contributed to the film's commercial failure, but makes for one Hell of a  performance. If Hackman deserved an Oscar for hisfirst performance, he deserved two for this one. Of course, this turns the latter half of the film into a revenge story. Frankeheimer was an experiencedthriller director and naturally he doesn't disappoint.

Oh I don't know if this is a goof or not, but when Hackman tries ordering whiskey in a bar, the barman had difficulty filling he order. This is either an error or the bar tender pulling Doyle's leg because the French use the same word for the beverage. Frankenheimer lived for several years and France and would know this. I may be, as one person said on IMDB said it, a bit of a "Frankenheimer apologist" but I think this is as good as French Connection, just different.

Tom Rolfe, editor of Black Sunday, Heat, The Right Stuff, New York New York, cut the film. Alexander Jacobs, writer of An Enemy of the People, The Seven-Ups, Hell in the Pacific and the great Lee Marvin film Point Blank , penned the script with help from others. Stuntman Hal Needham supervised the stunts, which I presume includes the lengthy footchase through Marseille that ends the film and smashes right into the end credits.

Sadly, few clips from the film are available on YouTube but Don Ellis's  jazzy score is all over it.

Link to last week's Saturday Cinema.

www.factualopinion.com
 
2014-02-22 05:36:12 PM  
Great movie!!!!
 
2014-02-23 09:14:56 AM  
Gene's just a hack, man.
 
2014-02-23 10:43:15 AM  
Something I'd not considered: The old woman who appears sympathetic was an ex Playhouse 90 actress. Frankenheimer directed this live TV show in the 50s.

Anyway, here's a blog entry about the film from Cinema Retro. Apparently the script was still being worked on well into shooting. Enjoy!
 
2014-02-23 11:27:25 AM  
I liked it better than the first. Agree with the OP; Hackman's performance is outstanding.
 
2014-02-23 12:56:59 PM  
"I'd rather be a lamppost in New York than the President of France" still one of the all-time best lines ever written and delivered.

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