French Connection Box Set

The French Connection Box Set

5.0 2
Director: John Frankenheimer, William Friedkin

Cast: Gene Hackman

     
 
The two-movie, three-disc box set for The French Connection I and II is another feather in the Fox DVD cap. The first film, the big Oscar-winner from 1971, is just about as good as it gets. The image, at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, is outstanding. If there's any complaint, the disc shows the inherent inconsistencies of the documentary look that director William Friedkin

Overview

The two-movie, three-disc box set for The French Connection I and II is another feather in the Fox DVD cap. The first film, the big Oscar-winner from 1971, is just about as good as it gets. The image, at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, is outstanding. If there's any complaint, the disc shows the inherent inconsistencies of the documentary look that director William Friedkin was trying to achieve. DVD simply makes those "flaws" (though here they are intended) all the more obvious. The sound, a new 5.1 English track, is powerful but can only be remastered so much from the original source material. Still, all the nuances of gritty New York are there. The disc with the movie also has a number of features, including a commentary track from Friedkin and another from stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider. In addition, it has the trailer for the first movie. If that wasn't enough, the first French Connection has an additional second disc loaded with some fine supplements. The main two are documentaries, one from the BBC, about an hour long, covering the making of the film, while the other is an in-depth look at the "untold stories" of this historic case as seen by detective Sonny Grosso. In addition to this are seven deleted scenes that can be watched by themselves or in a separate section hosted by Friedkin. Finally, there is a decent photo gallery (though only one poster is included) and two trailers, once again for this film and for The French Connection II. As for the second movie in this set, The French Connection II is almost as well put together. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is equal in quality to the first movie with strong contrast and excellent saturation of colors. This film is not as gritty as the first, and the general look of the film is more "cinematic." The sound though is a major letdown with only a stereo track that makes little use of the sound field. Extras, on the other hand, are rather plentiful, especially for a film that was not so well-received. Of great interest, just like the first disc, are two audio commentary tracks, this time from director John Frankenheimer and the other from Hackman and producer Robert Rosen. While Frankenheimer is quite vocal in his comments, the other two leave significant gaps without discussion. Finally, along with the trailer in three different languages, there is a photo gallery covering the costumes and storyboards for specific scenes. All in all, this is a set that should not be passed up.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This three-disc box set collects the two outstanding crime dramas based on the real-life attempts by NYPD detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso to bust an international heroin-smuggling ring -- films that have influenced every urban-based cop thriller made in the last 30 years. 1971's The French Connection also catapulted Gene Hackman (whose "Popeye" Doyle is Egan's fictional counterpart) from the ranks of respected character actors to a full-fledged star and earned him the Best Actor Academy Award for his work. As the gruff and profane Doyle, Hackman single-mindedly pursues French drug lord Fernando Rey, a pursuit that climaxes in one of the all-time unforgettable action set pieces: the perilous car chase beneath one of New York's elevated trains. The sequence helped earn director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and editor Jerry Greenberg well-deserved Oscars. The 1975 sequel, just slightly less absorbing than the original but certainly sizzling in its own right, continues the pursuit of Rey to his native country. Betrayed in Marseilles by corrupt officials, Popeye is kidnapped, drugged, and eventually left for dead by the drug lord's minions. Hackman's second crack at Doyle represents a personal tour de force: He starts out as a brusque, cocky cop (and archetypal "Ugly American"); becomes a humbled, pitiful addict; and finally emerges as a relentless avenger. Director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), an old hand at suspenseful stories of international intrigue, deftly guides this serpentine thriller and attempts to match the original film's chase scene with a climactic pursuit of his own. The box-set extras include commentaries by Hackman and both directors, along with specially made documentaries (one providing background info on the real French Connection case), deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes photos, storyboards, and trailers.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2001
UPC:
0024543020684
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo, monaural, THX-Supervised Mastering]
Time:
3:43:00

Special Features

Disc One: The French Connection with feature commentary by William Friedkin; Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider; theatrical trailer. Disc 2: Seven deleted scenes; BBC documentary: Poughkeepsie Shouffle, Making the Connection: The Untold Stories; William Friedkin discusses the deleted scenes; still gallery; trailers. Disc 3: The French Connection II with commentary by John Frankenheimer and Gene Hackman; storyboard gallery; behind-the-scenes gallery; trailers

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- The French Connection, Disc 1
0. Chapter Selection
1. Main Titles
2. A Death in Marseilles
3. A Bust in Brooklyn
4. The Frenchman
5. A Table Full of Suspects
6. The Tail
7. Alain's New Partner
8. Sal & Angie
9. Popeye's Here
10. The Shipment
11. Devereaux in New York
12. A Good Cop
13. The Car Auction
14. The Wiretap
15. Following Boca
16. Tailing the Frenchmen
17. 89% Pure Junk
18. Following Frog One
19. A Meeting in Washington
20. Off the Case
21. Sniper
22. The Chase
23. Face-to-Face
24. The Brown Lincoln
25. Tear It Apart
26. 120 Pounds
27. No More Favors
28. The Transaction
29. Surrounded
30. Closing In
31. The Last Shot
32. Epilogue/End Titles
Side #3 -- The French Connection II
0. Chapter Selection
1. Main Titles [1:01]
2. Marseilles [2:32]
3. The American Cop [4:50]
4. Doyle's File [4:27]
5. The Drop-Off [1:10]
6. Some Sort of Hero [1:01]
7. The Hidden Gun [4:58]
8. Language Problems [2:49]
9. A Drink With Doyle [2:22]
10. Bait [5:12]
11. A Face From the Past [4:18]
12. Charnier's Guest [3:26]
13. The Addiction [5:10]
14. The Old Lady [1:41]
15. Giving Doyle Back [:51]
16. Near Death [3:17]
17. Junkie Cop [4:23]
18. Cold Turkey [4:24]
19. A Baseball Story [1:42]
20. A Tour of Marseilles [4:08]
21. Back on the Street [1:03]
22. The Exterminator [2:08]
23. The Raid [5:24]
24. Off the Case [2:35]
25. The Path to Frog One [3:06]
26. Waiting [:38]
27. The Exchange [1:22]
28. Following the Drugs [4:25]
29. Busted [1:03]
30. Popeye's Pursuit [7:04]
31. Charnier's Surprise [:57]
32. End Titles [2:09]

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The French Connection Box Set 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I revisited The French Connection last night and it was great fun. I became caught up in the wild action scenes and fabulous car chases. There is a bit of violence. It's rated R but the violence is mild compared to today's standards. The acting was terrific. It stars Gene Hackman as a gritty die hard NYC cop who believes in following up on his hunches no matter what. Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider (remember him in Jaws?), and a very young Tony Lo Bianco round off the cast along with Marcel Bozzuffi and William Friedkin. Philip D'Antoni produced it. I highly recommend it. It is very suspenseful. A great escape film for the summer. It also won 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1971.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago