The French Connection / French Connection II Blu-ray Review

FrenchConnectionSquareArguably the greatest cop movie ever made, William Friedkin’s influential masterpiece – winner of Best Director, Best Actor and Best Director Academy Awards, back in ’71 – has never looked better: Friedkin himself has digitally altered its colour palette to create a pastel-hued print preserving the original grain. Also cleaned up for HD, John Frankenheimer’s 1975 follow-up has its detractors, but there’s no denying the power of Gene Hackman’s second turn as Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle, going cold turkey in Marseille after drug smugglers turn him into a smack addict.

EXTRAS: Fox supplements the first film’s existing commentaries and featurettes with a dazzling array of fresh HD material, as Friedkin returns to the scene of the most famous car chase in cinema history, and meets the real-life Doyle’s partner, Sonny Grasso. New additions are less plentiful on the second film, although a new Hackman interview is welcome – especially since the great man, now 78, seems to have retired from acting.

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