The French Connection–But Why??

We’ve been trucking along on our movie goal to watch AFI’s top 100 movies of all time. Since my last post, we’ve watched: The French Connection, Do the Right Thing and Blade Runner.

It is both fun and risky watching these movies which we don’t really know or have any preconceived notions about. I think it’s fair to say we enjoyed Do The Right Thing (the first Spike Lee movie either of us have watched). The sudden turn at the end took us by surprise and we had to sleep on it before we could even put any thoughts together about it. Glad to have seen it.

The French Connection, however, not so much. Honestly, we got to the end (a laborious task indeed) and both asked “why is this even on the list??” Roger Ebert wrote the year it came out about the car chase scene and the dynamics of Popeye’s character. We read the review, and we respect that Ebert knew what he was talking about, but neither of us could see where he was coming from. We agreed that maybe it was something special in 1971 when it came out, but it doesn’t seem to be much of an enduring film. The main character wasn’t relateable or even love-to-hateable, the pace was elongated, not suspenseful and the plot both overly simple and over done at the same time. We’re not opposed to cop movies, just this one I guess.

Eh, win some lose some, I guess. What made me mad though, was that The French Connection won over Fiddler on the Roof in Best Movie, Best Director and Best Leading Actor at the 44th Academy Awards. Cannot believe it. Fiddler on the Roof, Norman Jewison and Topol are all vastly superior to The French Connection et al in my opinion. And, can I just say it, Fiddler on the Roof has a much better grasp on the use of the violin.

Fiddler on the Roof > The French Connection
Fiddler on the Roof > The French Connection

We’re working our way up from the bottom of the list. Of the final 10, we have a handful left:

90. Swing Time (1936)

91. Sophie’s Choice (1982) — Ryan has not seen, but I will not watch again

92. Goodfellas (1990)

93. The French Connection (1971)

94. Pulp Fiction (1994

95. The Last Picture Show (1971)

96. Do The Right Thing (1989)

97. Blade Runner (1982)

98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

99. Toy Story (1995)

100. Ben Hur (1959)


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