|Jan 14 2009
The French Connection opened in October 1971 in New York City to immediate and universal acclaim. Working from material based on actual events, actor Gene Hackman and director William Friedkin were at the top of their form, and took audiences on an unforgettable ride. The famous chase scene, which contains no music, only the screech of tires, the continual blasting of horns, and the relentless chattering of an elevated train, has been surpassed perhaps twice in all of film history. Of the eight Oscars for which the film was nominated, it would win five, including the trinity of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. And there should have been another category—Biggest Bad-Ass. Hackman would have won that too. French audiences heard the transatlantic hype, but wouldn’t be able to see the film until after the New Year. The wait ended today, 1972.