The essential Roy Scheider DVDs
We’re going to need a bigger home entertainment system in order to properly enjoy the best-available-on-DVD films starring ’70s movie icon Roy Scheider, who passed away on Feb. 10.
The French Connection (1971)
Scheider is the low-key good cop to Gene Hackman’s badass cop in William Friedkin’s gritty hit (although, as this is a ’70s movie, Scheider does get to threaten a perp with a metal bar). We suggest an NYPD-themed double bill with 1973’s The Seven-Ups.
In Steven Spielberg’s fishy tale, Scheider often plays straight man and third fiddle to costars Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw — fourth if you count Bruce the Shark. But his nervy, ocean-loathing Police Chief Brody perfectly represents the audience’s own fin-shaped fears.
Connection auteur Friedkin reunited with Scheider for this remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nerve-jangling 1953 thriller The Wages of Fear. Scheider is terrific as a desperate fugitive driving a truck full of dynamite through the South American jungle.
All That Jazz (1979)
”It’s showtime, folks!” In this metamusical, Scheider reveals a range he would be asked to explore all too infrequently as the Dexedrine-munching, libidinous alter ego of legendary Broadway choreographer (and All That Jazz director) Bob Fosse.