I’ve seen the French connection (1971) from Friedkin many times but this was my first foray into john frankeheimer’s French connection II (1975). I’ve never heard anyone talk about it or tell me I should see it and I’ve been pretty obsessive about movies for about 18 years.
In comparison with the original–the sequel is no match. That’s clear and probably why it doesn’t have an amazing reputation. The Godfather Part II it is not…
… that said. I’m putting it in the archives in the lower portion of the 1975 archives—near the 25th-30th best film of 1975. Frankenheimer has 7 other archiveable films (though he never reached the peaks Friedkin did).
The chase sequence at the end is marvelous and the film is worthy of the archives alone for Hackman. In the film Hackman is forced, by Fernando Rey, to take heroin and then, after being rescued by the cops, recover from the addition. The scenes of him overcoming and battling with heroin addiction (shot from the movie above) are utterly mesmerizing. It’s an angrier (hackman) version of some of brando’s scenes in last tango. It’s just brilliant physical acting and some of the best work Hackman has done.