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#70 - The French Connection

This 1971 crime thriller features Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as police detectives on the trail of a narcotics trafficking scheme. Directed by William Friedkin.

Many of the films we've seen so far on this project are linked by a common theme -- portraying a world where morality is not black and white, but cast in infinite shades of gray. And I've commented before that, by dint of my viewpoint as a Gen X / Millenial generation member, movies with ambiguous morals are not that impressive or groundbreaking to me. But the list just keeps throwing them at me, so I'll keep repeating the same things.

So it's police drama this time around. And wow, look at that, there are cops that aren't sterling examples of humanity. And things don't always have a happy ending. Shocking.

Look, I don't like to trivialize the major aspect of why this movie is on the List, but there it is. It's realistic. Great. Why is this so amazing, by the way? It's not like reality is that awesome -- I mean, I'm watching a movie, here. You can safely assume that I'm looking for some sort of escape from everyday life. I guess the point is that no other police dramas really took an honest tack before this one. Which just makes me wish (as I've commented before) that I had watched other similar movies from the era that aren't as good in order to get a clear sense of why this movie is great.

Yes, the acting was good, the cinematography was excellent, and the famous chase scene was a show stopper. But the plot was quite complex and tough to follow, and the appropriately ambiguous ending left me unfulfilled.

Meh. That's it. I don't know what our next film with ambiguous morals is, but maybe by the time we get there, I'll be able to review it in some new and interesting way. Feel free to suggest one.

(See this post if you're confused why I'm reviewing movies.)


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