The French Connection

French connection

Released in 1971, The French Connection set a new standard for American crime films with a tough, gritty New York style that was often imitated for the rest of the decade. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider star as Popeye Doyle and Cloudy Russo, a pair of narcotics detectives, in a story based on the real-life experiences of cops Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso. The film’s depiction of one of the world’s biggest drug busts became an immediate critical and commercial success, earning eight Academy Award nominations and winning five including Best Picture, Directing, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and Film Editing. Now with highlights from the Academy’s collections including the papers of director William Friedkin, discover more about the making of an essential American classic.