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Two ''French Connection'' films on laserdisc

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Two ”French Connection” films on laserdisc

Watching the letterboxed version of William Friedkin’s seminal cop drama The French Connection on laserdisc along with its similarly remastered sequel is a surprising experience. Partly, that’s because the first Connection hasn’t worn well; Ernest Tidyman’s script refuses to get inside the characters, and what looked like urban grit in ’71 now seems like above-average Kojak. But the better-preserved French Connection II redeems it. Director John Frankenheimer conveys some sense of what drives Gene Hackman’s obsessed detective; as a result, though the picture lacks the original’s famous car chase, its comparable moral cynicism seems far more earned. Both films: B

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