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THRILLER: The French Connection (1971)

The French Connection (USA, 1971)
Directed by William Friedkin
Starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco

Saying that a film is "a product of its time" usually means one of two things. Either we are trying to excuse some aspect of it which is dated or unjustifiable on modern grounds - usually the special effects or the way in which women or non-whites are depicted - or else we are making a comment about the film-making climate which produced such a work and using it to criticise the modern approach. Saying that "you couldn't make this today" is often just as much a criticism of Hollywood's risk aversion and franchise obsession as it is a care-free means of dismissing flack.
In whichever sense, The French Connection is a film which is a product of its time, and while you could make it today, the chances are that it wouldn't work anything like as well. A career-maker for both director William Friedkin and star Gene Hackman,…

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