DVD Review - "The French Connection"

"The French Connection" is the 1971 Best Picture Oscar winner about a pair of New York narcotics officers pursuing a big case involving a foreign crime syndicate. Naturally, these bad guys are French. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star in this slow burning stake-out flick that is widely considered to be one of the "classics." These veteran cops play a slow moving cat and mouse game with the French drug pushers they are stalking, culminating in a final, crafty standoff.

I'm not exactly sure how I've never seen "The French Connection" other than the fact that it came out 12 years before I was born. While it's not as fast paced as today's average action film, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The action moves slowly but efficiently, and the development of the main characters is something most modern action pieces would kill for. Hackman gives what is considered to be one of his best performances and I would be inclined to agree. All that said, I'm not in love with "The French Connection" the way I half-way imagined I would be. It wasn't necessarily boring but I had trouble following along at times and found myself drifting in and out of attention. Perhaps this is a reflection on me and my attention span more than it is on the quality of the film. Nevertheless, my opinion of the film (ranked 93rd on AFI's 100 Years, 100 Films) doesn't quite live up to the reputation it has built up for itself over the last 40 years.

Grade: B+