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.
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
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]
Side #1 -- The French Connection, Disc 1 Play Movie Special Features Commentary by William Friedkin: On Commentary by William Friedkin: Off Commentary by Gene Hackman & Roy Scheider: On Commentary by Gene Hackman & Roy Scheider: Off Original Theatrical Trailer THX Optimode Audio Tests Video Tests Language Selection Spoken: English 5.1 Surround Spoken: English Stereo Surround Spoken: French Mono Captions/Subtitles: English Captions/Subtitles: Spanish Captions/Subtitles: None Side #2 -- The French Connection, Disc 2 Deleted Scenes Tailing the Frog The Whip Girl Mutchie's Bar Mutchie's Bar Part 2 Girl on a Bicycle Street Walker Hector Play All Documentaries BBC Documentary: The Poughkeepsie Shuffle Making the Connection: The Untold Stories of The French Connection William Friedkin Discusses the Deleted Scenes from The French Connection Theatrical Trailers Original Theatrical Trailer French Connection 2 Trailer Still Gallery Behind the Scenes Unit Photography Poster Side #3 -- The French Connection II Play Movie Special Features Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer: On Commentary by Director John Frankenheimer: Off Commentary by Gene Hackman and Producer Robert Rosen: On Commentary by Gene Hackman and Producer Robert Rosen: Off Theatrical Trailers: English Theatrical Trailers: Spanish Theatrical Trailers: Portuguese Still Gallery Wardrobe Photos Storyboards Scene 12 - The Arab Quarter Scene 27 - Doyle Kidnapped Scene 66 - Doyle Gets Even Scene 71 - Staking Out the Dry Dock Scenes 88 and 89 - Chasing Charnier THX Optimode Audio Tests Video Tests Language Selection Spoken Languages: English Stereo Spoken Languages: English Mono Spoken Languages: French Mono Captions/Subtitles: English Captions/Subtitles: Spanish Captions/Subtitles: None
The French Connection Box Set 5 out of 5based on
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.