French Connection, The (1971; USA; DeLuxe; 104m) ∗∗∗∗½ d. William Friedkin; w. Ernest Tidyman; ph. Owen Roizman; m. Don Ellis. Cast: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Arlene Farber, Eddie Egan, Patrick McDermott, Andre Ernotte, Sonny Grosso, Alan Weeks. A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. Brilliantly filmed, gritty and absorbing crime thriller with a superb performance from Hackman as single-minded cop. Shot on streets of New York during a cold winter adding to authentic feel. Winner of five Oscars including Best Film, Actor (Hackman), Director (Friedkin), Adapted Screenplay (Tidyman) and Editing (Greenberg). Based on the book by Robin Moore. Followed by FRENCH CONNECTION II (1975) and POPEYE DOYLE (1986) (TV).