Chinatown - The French Connection

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Holadem, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I bought these two movies together, and watched them on consecutive nights. I liked Chinatown, and I am keeping it, though I much prefer LA Confidential.
    I was quite disapointed by the French Connection, especially since I have wanted to see it for a long time. It has little to do with the ending, by then I had pretty much lost interest. The train station scene was great (not the car chase, which was good also), I am sure it is a classic, though I have never heard of it. But beside that the whole thing was pretty boring.
    I have been looking for older films lately, and it seems I am dissapointed by half of them. I do believe I go in with the right expectations. It is possible that a lot of those films don't work for contemporary viewers anymore?
    On the good news side, I bought Pump Up the Volume and A Bridge Too Far for $9 apiece. PUtV was a pleasant surprise, a keeper for sure. I would have never watched this little gem if I didn't see it mentioned here. Great movie.
    I hope a Bridge Too Far is just as good. With it's cast (it seems everyone is in that movie!), it better be. But then the Thin Red Line also had one hell of a cast...
    [Edit] FOr those who wwere wondering (I am one of them [​IMG]), this thread is to gather opinions about the above movies - except ABTF which I haven't watched yet.
    --
    Holadem
     
  2. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

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    Chinatown will get better each time you watch it, so you need to watch it again.

    French Connection is a classic movie, but it's probably hit and miss. To me, it's a nice gritty movie.
     
  3. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    I think The French Connection is outdated.

    When I first saw Chinatown, I was rather underwhelmed by it due to having just seen L.A. Confidential. I've seen it a few more times since, and now I think it's as great as many say it is.

    ~T
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  6. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Please. The Mona Lisa and the Sistene Chapel are dated. Does this make them any less the masterpieces that they are? I do believe that context must be taken into consideration. Battleship Potemkin is dated, Children of Paradise is dated, but they are still classic films. Bah! My ire is growing! I better leave this thread before I get real defensive. My point is that while a film may not "work" for todays masses, it's not the fault of the film being dated, but rather the fault of the audience in failing to be able to judge a film on it's technical merits and watch it regarding the sociological and technical climate in which it was made, rather than the film's ability to adapt to current sociological trends, concerns, and demands.

    Did that make sense, or am I totally off my rocker?
     
  7. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    I think that made a lot of sense, really.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Ben,

    Excellent post!

    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    I was going to start a new thread about the French Connection since I just watched it, but I did a search and came up with this 2 year old thread (hope you don't mind Holadem).

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

    So what's up with the ending? A shot is heard and yet both the french guy and Popeye Doyle are alive. Was the shot supposed to make me believe one of them got killed? I don't know if I liked that too much.

    The movie is definately hard core and seems very close to real life in the early 70's (although I wasn't born yet when it came out). And the car chase must have been really ground breaking at that time and I give it credit because of that. But it didn't have that much of an impact on me since I've already seen more recent great car chases like in Ronin and the Bourne Identity and Supremacy.

    I can see why it won Best Picture and Gene Hackman Best Actor. Well deserved.
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Holy shit, did you really have to dig this one up? :b
    No biggie tho, I do it all the time myself.
    Not that I am even close to being an expert today, but 2.5 years is a LONG time for me as far as this hobby is concerned. Back then, I was just starting to expand my horizons, and was actively seeking out older films. It has been (and still is) a rewarding journey.
    I haven't watched both films since then (I do own them both), but I have fond memories of Chinatown, and have the poster in my living room. As for the French Connection, I still don't know...
    I still firmly disagree with the concept of timelesness as a requirement for greatness. Many great films need to be put in context to be enjoyed, or even appreciated.
     
  11. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    Oh oh, what have I started? [​IMG]
     
  12. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Ironic that this thread was bumped up last night while I was in the midst of watching The French Connection! It's one of my favorites from that era, and Chinatown is one of my all-time favorites from any time.

    Andres, regarding your question about that last gun-shot, I think it's an extra bit of emphasis on how obsessed and triggy-happy Popeye has become regarding "Frog One." The primary reason they did it was probably just to have something jarring to punctuate the transition from the main story-line to the aftermath, but I think it makes sense in that way--all that Popeye could do in the end was shoot at anything that moved.

    One question I have is about the music that plays over the main menu of Disc One of the Fox Five Star Collection DVD. It kind of sounds like it's from the movie, but it isn't! Some of the music that plays when you go from the main menu to one of the sub-menus, like the special features, does come from the movie, but not the music that plays on the main menu. Anybody know where it's from?
     
  13. TommyT

    TommyT Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always liked it from the 1st time I saw it in high school. Its also been my absolute favorite film since I started taking cinema seriously. For me, this film has the BEST written script ever! Best line:

    Jake: "Well, to tell ya the truth, I lied a little."

    Yep, you can argue for the car chases in Ronin [rant]BUT[/rant] those would've never been done w/out the influence of The French Conn & Bullitt. Also, FC is another dialogue-driven (pun not intended) film.
     
  14. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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  15. Scott Bender

    Scott Bender Auditioning

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    I saw French Connection in the theaters when it came out and I was really bored. I was pretty young at the time which may explain it, but I never had a desire to revisit the movie.
    I didn't see Chinatown in the theaters only much later, but I love it, probably about the same as LA Confidential.
     
  16. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    French Connection's impact may have lessened by the fact that every gritty cop movie and television show has been influenced by it over the past 30 years. If you've seen NYPD Blue, Law & Order and Narc, then Connection may not have any effect on you. Yet upon initial release it was like an adrenaline shot to the heart.
    The same can be said for Psycho and Halloween, they've been copied so much in style and atmosphere they're almost inadequate. Almost.
    By the way, Jack, since last year saw the release of The Haunting and The Day The Earth Stood Still, what other classics are you waiting to be released?
     
  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  18. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  19. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    Yes, the subway scene is priceless. I was cracking up when "frog one" kept going in and out of the subway car and Popeye Doyle trying to do the same without looking too obvious. Great, great scene.
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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