Film of the day: The French Connection

The French Connection

William Friedkin’s multi-Oscar-winning, gritty, urban crime drama tells the real-life story of two New York narcotics cops’ attempts to bring down a French drugs kingpin.

Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider play detectives James ‘Popeye’ Doyle and Buddy Russo who, while investigating relatively minor-league drugs pushers, learn that a massive shipment of very pure heroin is about to arrive in the city.

The heroin is being imported from Marseille by Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey), who is prepared to do anything, including murdering policemen, to get his narcotics out on the streets. But, although they know it’s on its way, Doyle and Russo don’t know how. And they make life more difficult for themselves by battling with FBI agent Mulderig (Bill Hickman), who’s also working the case. Hickman was the stunt driver pursued by Steve McQueen in Bullitt; and was also behind the wheel for the famous chase in this movie, which was shot in real traffic.

The French Connection – Sunday 10.10pm on Sky Cinema Select.