[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/poster_frenchconnection.jpg]]

->''"All right, Popeye's here! Get your hands on your heads, get off the bar, and get on the wall!"''
-->-- '''Popeye Doyle'''

''The French Connection'', a 1971 crime thriller film directed by Creator/WilliamFriedkin, written by [[Film/{{Shaft}} Ernest Tidyman]] and produced by Phillip D'Antoni, is the tale of NYC cop Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Creator/GeneHackman) and his partner, Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider). One day, they stumble upon a huge shipment of heroin from France. The trail leads to notorious drug kingpin, Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey). {{Car Chase}}s [[HilarityEnsues ensue.]]

A classic piece of seventies Hollywood cinema, based on the true story of the two cops who would stop the drug trafficking between France and the US, it was a huge success, both financially and critically. The film won 5 [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscars]] including Best Picture, Best Director for Friedkin, and Best Actor for Hackman. Thus it would come close to winning the Big Five, but lacked a female main character. It also won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing and the car-chase alone is worth it.

The film's success actually led to an odd little pseudo-SharedUniverse of films, mainly by virtue of being based on the same real-life case. The success of the film led to one true sequel, the entirely fictional ''French Connection II'' (1975), with Doyle heading to Marseille in the hopes that his first-hand recognition of Charnier will help put pressure on the manufacturing end of the line. ''Film/PopeyeDoyle'', a [[RecycledTheSeries TV pilot movie]] was made in 1986, with Creator/EdONeill as [[TheOtherDarrin Doyle]]. ''Film/TheSevenUps'' is a SpiritualSuccessor starring Roy Scheider as an {{Expy}} of Cloudy Russo. Finally, in 2014 Cédric Jiminez made ''La French''[[note]]Called ''[[MarketBasedTitle The Connection]]'' in Anglophone countries.[[/note]], based on the same case, [[POVSequel but covering the events on the Marseille end.]]

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!! "The Trope Connection":

* AbandonedWarehouse: The final scene takes place in an abandoned crematorium.
* UsefulNotes/AcademyAward: It won five of them: Best Picture, Best Director (Friedkin), Best Actor (Hackman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Tidyman) and Best Film Editing. It was further nominated for three others: Best Supporting Actor (Scheider), Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees:
** Just in case anyone was wondering about that scene where the traffickers are testing the purity of their merchandise... pure substances (such as heroin) have fixed melting points, but the melting point will become lowered if the substance is impure. So, if the powder tastes like heroin and melts at the right temperature (as determined by a Thiele melting point apparatus in this case), then it's got to be pure heroin. The trafficker's expert [[ShownTheirWork demonstrates all the salient points of the lab procedure]], even displaying the mineral oil bottle just to show us that he's using the usual heat transfer medium. On top of that, real heroin was used for that scene.
** Also, the entire plot is based on the real "French connection" case where raw Turkish opium was processed into heroin in Marseilles before coming to the US. Many other countries have also served as drug middlemen.
* AntiClimax: Frog One at the very, very end of the sequel. This being TheSeventies, when Doyle catches up with the Frenchman - after being humiliated and tortured for two ''long'' films - [[spoiler:he calls out his name and shoots him. Twice. Cut to credits. It takes all of four seconds.]]
* AntiHero: Popeye Doyle, full stop.
* AprilFoolsPlot: The beginning of the sequel. Popeye, on arrival, finds the Marseille police searching a shipment of fish for drugs on an anonymous tip, only to discover the tip was a prank.
* ArchEnemy: Alain Charnier to Popeye Doyle.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: After Russo's been stabbed, Popeye Doyle wants to run the suspect in for that, for drug possession, "and for picking your feet in Poughkeepsie!"
* AssholeVictim: Mulderig, the FBI agent who regards Doyle with contempt and busts his chops throughout the film, is [[FriendOrFoe accidentally shot and killed]] during the finale when Doyle mistakes him for Charnier.
* AnAssKickingChristmas / DidIMentionItsChristmas: Doesn't make a big deal out of it, but little holiday elements like Popeye undercover as a sidewalk Santa Claus, different store windows loaded with Christmas decorations, and the bitter winter cold continually pop up.
* BabyCarriage: A runaway carriage hampers the car chase.
* BadassSanta: Popeye's first scene has him catching a drug dealer while dressed as a bell ringing charity Santa.
* BasedOnATrueStory: The film actually used the real duo behind it as the consultants for the film.
* BeardOfEvil: Alain Charnier, AKA "Frog One".
* BigBad: Alain Charnier.
* TheBigRottenApple: Just like ''Film/MidnightCowboy'' and ''Film/TaxiDriver'', this is set in the era of "[[UsefulNotes/GeraldFord Ford]] to City: Drop Dead".
** Popeye even wakes up in a bar to a commercial for a brokerage firm using this trope to encourage listeners use their services to leave New York and move to Florida.
* BottomlessMagazines: Popeye fires more than six rounds at the end [[spoiler: when he accidentally shoots a federal officer.]]
* BrooklynRage: The French heroin ring is running all smooth and flawless, until a couple of NYPD narcs decide to wreck their shit.
* TheCasanova: Popeye, surprisingly enough.
* CarChase: One of the most famous in movie history. While ''Film/{{Bullitt}}'' was the {{Trope Maker|s}}, this was the TropeCodifier.
** The sequel, meanwhile, climaxes with a chase ''on foot'' that's pretty epic in its own right.
** Prior permission for filming the car chase sequence wasn't obtained, which meant that the [[EnforcedMethodActing panicked reactions from passers-by were genuine]].
* CatchPhrase: "Ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?" Also becomes ArcWords.
* ChainedToABed: Cloudy walks into Popeye's apartment to find his ankle handcuffed to his bed.
* ChronicallyCrashedCar: The front ends of the NYPD's 1966 Chevy Biscaynes are quite bashed up [[note]] 1966 was the only year in TheSixties NYPD bought Chevys[[/note]]. Justified for being five-year-old New York police cars.
** Then there's the Pontiac [=LeMans=] Doyle commandeers from a civilian for the chase scene (see FlashedBadgeHijack below), which ends up more or less totaled by the time he's done with it.
* ConspicuousConsumption / SuspiciousSpending: What tips off Doyle and Russo about Sal and his wife Angie being involved in drug running. Despite running a diner/lounge and making about $7,000 net a year, he owns two cars, a brand new Ford LTD and a 1961 Comet [[note]] The Comet was planned to be part of the Edsel lineup, but became an independant model after Edsel was axed, and finally was absorbed by Mercury in 1962[[/note]] (though the Ford is in Angie's name and the Comet is owned by his brother, a garbage yard worker), drops hundreds of dollars at high class restaurants and bars and wears very expensive suits.
* ContrastMontage: When Doyle is staking out Charnier across the street from the fancy restaurant where he and Nicoli are dining, the sequence cuts back and forth between their lavish meal and Doyle watching outside in the cold. When Charnier samples a bottle of wine, Doyle is brought a styrofoam cup of coffee so bad he only takes one sip before emptying out the rest in disgust. When Charnier's elaborate main course arrives, Doyle is brought a single slice of pizza.
* CoolCar: Devereaux's Lincoln Continental Mark III, which is used to bring the heroin into New York.
* CowboyCop: Doyle. [[DeconstructedTrope It doesn't work too well for him.]]
** In the sequel he burns down a hotel because the villains are using it as a hideout.
* DamageProofVehicle: When Doyle drives recklessly to catch a suspect travelling to a nearby station in Manhattan. The car narrowly misses dozens of vehicles and pedestrians, and makes it without a scratch.
* DarkenedBuildingShootOut: The climax features one of these.
* DeadfootLeadfoot: Coke, the El Train driver gets shot, causing the train to speed up.
* DeadpanSnarker: Cloudy Russo has his moments.
-->'''Russo:''' (''observing Doyle's filthy apartment'') Anybody hurt in this wreck?
* DigitalDestruction: For the first Blu-ray release of the film in 2009, director William Friedkin supervised some significant changes to the film; no scenes, dialogue, characters or story elements were altered, but the color timing of the film was significantly changed to give the film a colder and more low-fi look. Cinematographer Owen Roizman and many fans were less than pleased, especially since the original version wasn't included in the Blu-ray. Comparison images can be [[http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/Images/stories/2009/feb/fcbdcomp.jpg found]] [[http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2009/02/wank.php online]] for the curious, but consensus is effectively "just stick with the DVD", maybe because RealIsBrown.
** In 2012, a new Blu-ray transfer - approved by both Friedkin and Roizman and restoring the original color palette - [[http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-French-Connection-Blu-ray/39973/ was issued for exclusive sale at Best Buy stores]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Charnier gets away, the other drug runners have their charges dropped or receive brief prison sentences, and Doyle and Russo are transferred to another department of the NYPD. And, apparently, the heroin was stolen afterwards.]]
* DrivingADesk: Averted. The car chase was shot entirely on location and mostly in one take. There were even a few unscripted collisions with other vehicles.
* TheDragon: Pierre Nicoli to Alain Charnier.
* EnemyEatsYourLunch: Nicoli casually breaking off a piece of the Marseille detective's baguette loaf to munch on after gunning him down in the opening scene.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Charnier is always polite in his conversations, and silent when evading the police. It's only when talking with Nicoli at one point, that the façade slips a little where he refers to Popeye Doyle as "that bastard".
* FlashedBadgeHijack: Doyle pulls one of these to start the car chase scene.
-->'''Doyle:''' ''(flags down approaching car)'' Hold it! ''(the car stops; Doyle opens the door and pulls the driver out)'' Police emergency! I need your car!\\
'''Driver:''' ''(startled)'' When am I gonna get it back? Hey! ''(Doyle jumps in the car, does a U-turn, and speeds off)'' For ''Christ's'' sake...
* FruitCart: Doyle crashes through some garbage cans during the car chase.
* GoodCopBadCop: Doyle and Russo use this on the dealer they chase down at the start of the film.
* IncrediblyObviousTail: The film goes to some trouble to show how a real life tail should be conducted (even so Doyle is successfully evaded by the Frenchman on the subway).
* TheInformant: Nicoli murders the FBI's in the opening, while Popeye and Sonny discover the shipment from theirs.
* InstantSeduction: Popeye picks up a woman riding a bicycle. While we don't see the actual seduction, he slowly follows her on his way home, [[GilliganCut then cuts to]] Cloudy walking into Popeye's apartment to find a bicycle behind the door and woman's clothes on the floor, and Popeye [[ChainedToABed handcuffed to his bed, by his ankle, with his own cuffs]].
* InTheBack: Popeye Doyle shoots a man in the back. The real Popeye objected to this portrayal at first but eventually learned to accept it under the RuleOfCool.
* IronicEcho: Non-verbal example. Charnier smugly waves goodbye to Doyle after eluding him on the subway; later, Charnier runs into a police roadblock after making the drop on Ward's Island and Doyle, catching his eye, waves to him in the same manner.
** In the sequel, the Echo becomes even more ironic: Charnier managed to get away on the first film, and the second one ends with him thinking he's going to get away... and Popeye whistles to him, Charnier turns, and sees Popeye giving him the same wave ''as he's pointing a gun at him''. Charnier only gets a split second to go OhCrap before Popeye shoots him dead.
* KarmaHoudini: The bad guys all either get off scot-free or have their sentences reduced. Only Devereaux (the film star turned unwitting smuggler) serves any significant prison time, and then only four years.
** Averted with Charnier in the sequel. The moment he gets on the boat that will take him away, he believes he is going to get off clean-only to find out that Popeye chased after the boat ''on foot'' and he is now within Popeye's pistol sights. The film ends immediately after he gets shot in the chest and falls to the ocean.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: William Friedkin mentioned that Gene Hackman cringed while saying Popeye's racist language.
* NewYorkCityCops
* NewYorkSubway: About halfway through the film, Doyle pursues Charnier in a subway station. Charnier manages to lose Doyle by repeatedly boarding and alighting from a waiting train until he and Doyle are on opposite sides of the doors when they close.
** And, of course, the ChaseScene has Nicoli trying to make his escape via an elevated line while Doyle pursues by car below.
* NiceHat: Popeye's porkpie hat.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the sequel, Popeye is tailed by two French police officers. When he decides to lose them so he can enjoy Marseille, he gets kidnapped by Alain, who has him held prisoner for two weeks while forcibly getting him addicted to heroin, then overdoses him and pushes him out of car outside the police station. Popeye spends most of the film's remainder recovering from the overdose and addiction.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Doyle is forced to drop the investigation by his superiors. One of the traffickers tries to assassinate him. Doyle gets the investigation re-opened.
* NiceToTheWaiter: In the sequel, Doyle, despite the language barrier, chats up the bartender and has several drinks with him.
* NoodleIncident: Mulderig resents Doyle for a past case (which we never learn the details of) when one of his hunches got another cop killed.
* OdessaSteps: Two moments: a mother pushing a baby carriage being shot and so releasing it, plus a shoot-out down a staircase.
* POVCam: Used during the bus chase in the sequel.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The [[http://home.wideopenwest.com/~gcockerill/1960_buick_023.htm actual car]] used in the drug smuggling ring, which took place between 7 October 1961 and 24 February 1962, was a (then new) 1960 Buick Invicta, and most of the heroin was hidden in the wheel wells, which are quite large on the Invicta, as well as the rocker panels as depicted. Because of the time that passed between the books's publishing and filming, it was changed to a newer luxury car, a 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III, because by 1971, a French film star was more likely to buy a Lincoln than a Buick. Popeye's car was also a 1960 Chevy Corvair, changed to a '68 Ford Custom 500, because NYPD was issuing detectives Fords and cycled out the Corvairs by that point.
* PunnyName: Cloudy Russo, based on Sonny Grosso.
* RacingTheTrain: The famous ChaseScene. After the gunman hops on a BMT West End Line train, Doyle hijacks a car and chases it.
* RealPersonCameo:
** Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso (the real-life inspirations for Popeye Doyle and Cloudy Russo) appear in the film as Simonson and Klein, respectively. Grosso found he liked acting, left the police and went to Hollywood, eventually becoming a producer.
** The bar patrons during the fake drug bust Doyle stages to cover talking to his informant (where he finds out about the shipment) were all played by real NYPD officers.
** Irv, the police mechanic Popeye and Cloudy help to tear apart the Lincoln was the actual NYPD fleet mechanic who helped Eagan and Grosso crack the case.
** Because of New York Transit Authority rules forbidding unauthorised personnel from operating trains, the motorman and transit police officers were actual MTA employees.
* ReCut: William Friedkin re-worked the film for its Blu Ray release by putting the film through a digital intermediate and tinting the colors to blue to create a more neo-noir look. Fans of the film were not pleased.
* RuleOfCool: The real "Popeye" Doyle (or "Popeye" ''Egan'', rather--his name was changed for the film) thought at first that the famous image of Hackman shooting the criminal at the top of the steps was offensive since he would never actually shoot someone InTheBack, but he realized later on how the moment worked on film and forgave it.
* RuthlessForeignGangsters: The French Alain Charnier.
* SelfDemonstratingSong: Popeye goes into a nightclub where a girl group is singing a song called "Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon", which is actually original to the ''French Connection'' soundtrack. Here are some of the lyrics in the chorus:
--> Everybody's going to the moon \\
Everybody's going, it'll be quite soon \\
It's customary in songs like this \\
to use a word like spoon... \\
You know everybody's going to the moon
** The next time the chorus comes around the song uses "June" instead of "spoon".
* {{Sequel}}: 1975's ''French Connection II'', which has Doyle traveling to Marseille in pursuit of Charnier, finding himself a FishOutOfWater in the French city, and being forced into heroin addiction by Charnier's henchmen. Unlike the original, the sequel's plot is entirely fictional.
** ''Film/PopeyeDoyle'', a 1986 PilotMovie for a prospective TV series starring Creator/EdONeill, picks up right where it leaves off.
* SequelGoesForeign: ''French Connection II'' has Popeye Doyle in France.
* ShaggyDogStory: The entire operation. An NYPD officer and Popeye's federal contact are killed in the raid, on top of the woman and two Transit officers shot by Nicoli, Charnier escaped while the other suspects received reduced or suspended sentences, the longest being four years in a federal prison, and Doyle and Cloudy are transferred out of Narcotics. And, according to the sequel, the confiscated heroin was stolen from the station afterwards.
* ShownTheirWork: The scene where a sample of the heroin is tested. Pure substances have a set boiling point, so the higher the temperature needed to boil it, the fewer impurities. For added measure, real heroin was used.
* SkeletonKeyCard: Cloudy breaks into Popeye's apartment with a credit card.
* SpiritualSuccessor: 1973's ''Film/TheSevenUps'', starring Roy Scheider as another New York City cop leading a special organized crime task force. It had the same producer and composer of ''The French Connection'', Sonny Grosso as technical advisor and also had a high speed car chase. The main character is an {{Expy}} of Cloudy Russo.
* TheStakeout: Several, most notably Doyle and Russo sitting up all night watching Devereaux's Lincoln.
* StopOrIWillShoot: Doyle guns down the hitman Nicoli as he [[InTheBack turns to flee]] at the El entrance, despite the fact that a) he's now unarmed, and b) Doyle couldn't have been sure the man was the same guy who'd taken a shot at him earlier, as there was little opportunity to get a clear look at his face.
* TrainEscape: A subway variant occurs, ending with Charnier waving goodbye to Popeye.
* TranslationConvention: Averted, with a lot of (subtitled) French dialogue.

* UnbuiltTrope: Popeye Doyle is ''Series/TheShield'''s Vic Mackey before Vic Mackey goes against the books, quick to jump the leash, and at least a little bigoted. And what happens when he goes in guns blazing in the final DarkenedBuildingShootout? [[spoiler:He kills a police contact, providing enough chaos for the kingpin to get away, and a WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue explains that he ended up getting transferred out of Narcotics for the clusterfuck.]]
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The end credits state the all but one of the drug dealers had their charges dropped (the one who was convicted only faced four years) and Charnier was never caught, and Doyle and Russo were transferred out of the narcotics division (in RealLife Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso were assigned to another case before being transferred).
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