Who could even argue that “The French Connection” is one of the greatest movies ever made? Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider are two of the most dynamic actors to ever do it and their chemistry is undeniably perfect.
But screenwriter Ernest Tidyman, based on the book by Robin Moore, really nailed the kind of anti-hero aspect of the story that makes it so satisfying to watch.
And if you loved “The French Connection” then you’ll love these three other movies.
The plot is in the title of the movie. “The French Connection” is about a pair of NYPD narcotics officers who stumble onto a drug-smuggling scheme that happens to have, you guessed it, a connection to France.
Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Hackman) is one of the great anti-hero characters of all time. He’s a little bit racist; he’s a little bigoted and he’s a little tired of everyone’s nonsense. But he’s full-service ready to do his job.
What’s really unique about this movie is that Popeye Doyle is an American everyman. Not that an American everyman is a borderline alcoholic but Popeye definitely is one. Nevertheless, he’s hard-working and dedicated to protecting the streets from criminals.
The protagonist is the complete opposite. Alain Charnier is a sort of suave gentleman elitist criminal. He’s high class and Popeye is the opposite. And “The French Connection” has one of the best car chase scenes in cinema history.
So here are the three movies you’ll love if you liked “The French Connection.”
If you want to talk about car chases then “Bullitt” is the one to watch.
Directed by Peter Yates, “Bullitt” is about an all guts and no glory San Francisco police officer that is determined to find an underworld kingpin that killed his high-profile witness in his protection.
Yes, this movie stars the absolutely incomparable Steve McQueen as Bullitt but also has Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset, and Robert Duvall.
The plot seems similar enough but depending on who you talk to about the all-time great car chase scenes, this is absolutely comparable to “The French Connection” and it was made three years before it.
People really don’t acknowledge 1997’s “L.A. Confidential” as one of the great films ever made but it absolutely is. Directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Brian Helgeland based on James Ellroy’s best-selling novel, “L.A. Confidential” is one of the epitomes of film-noir in the “Chinatown” sense. It was a genre that was thought to be dead at that time, but it came back with a vengeance.
Starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, and Kim Basinger, the story is about the corruption in Los Angeles in the 1950s. There was a lot of corruption then, and there still is now for that matter.
It’s about three policemen from the same precinct who have three very different points of view. One is strait-laced (Pearce), another is violent (Crowe) and another is a sleazy scumbag (Spacey). But at the end of the day, the investigation into a series of murders require them to team up. It’s an excellent movie.
“Sorcerer” is no joke one of the most overlooked greatest movies ever made. You want intense? Look no further than watching “Sorcerer.”
The plot is wildly different from “The French Connection” but it shares a director and a star with William Friedkin and Roy Scheider.
The movie opens with civil unrest, in fact it’s actually just straight pandemonium, in South America. But that leads to a group of four men from different parts of the world who risk their lives to transport gallons of nitroglycerin across the rough terrain of the South American jungle
You don’t need to hear any more than that. Just go watch it.
There are so many great thrillers that are underrated and the aforementioned are three of the best.