The French Connection

Trailer Review Wed. June 5 tickets Thurs. June 6 tickets

Starr · Rhinebeck


Wednesday, June 5 7:00p
Thursday, June 6 7:30p

With some of the best filmed car chases to date, this neo-noir masterpiece about two cops in pursuit of a drug dealer solidified William Friedkin as one of the best directors to date, and also earned him an Oscar for Best Director. The gritty flavor of New York City is best displayed in this film, with Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey delivering edgy, fascinating performances now synonymous with realism acting. The result is a high octane romp through early seventies New York, from 82nd Street in Manhattan to Wykoff Avenue in Bushwick. (dir. William Friedkin, US, 1971, 104m)

I’d seen moments from that chase for years, held up as an example of what makes the film great. And it is a great sequence. But it’s even better in context, arriving after many scenes of false starts, wrong turns, and frustrating dead ends, like a brilliantly staged cat-and-mouse game on the subway involving Doyle and Fernando Rey’s smooth French gangster. The explosions have even more impact when you first get to see the fuses slowly burning down…It’s also what most imitators don’t get. You can put together the most exciting sequence ever filmed, and it won’t matter—or at least won’t matter beyond the seconds it takes to unfold—if the material around it isn’t there.” –The A.V. Club