Tagged: The French Connection

The French Connection – Popeye Doyle’s Overcoat and Gray Suit

Gene Hackman as "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection (1971). Over his right shoulder is Eddie Egan, the real-life inspiration for the character.

Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection (1971). Over his right shoulder is Eddie Egan, the real-life inspiration for the character.

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, gruff NYPD narcotics detective

New York City, December 1970

Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III

Background

Happy birthday to Gene Hackman, born this day in 1930! This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced last week, so today’s post explores the birthday boy’s first Oscar-winning performance as NYPD narc “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection.

Eddie Egan was a real detective with the NYPD who, with his partner Sonny Grosso, was instrumental in a 1961 investigation that dissolved a massive heroin ring. The case would form the basis of a 1969 non-fiction book by Robin Moore that was swiftly adapted into the fictionalized film The French Connection. Gene Hackman, who by now had two Oscar nominations to his credit, was tapped for the role of “Popeye” Doyle, the profane detective modeled after Egan, while Egan himself would serve as technical advisor and play the smaller role of Walt Simonson, Doyle’s supervisor. Continue reading

The French Connection – Popeye Doyle’s Light Brown Suit

Gene Hackman as "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, gruff NYPD narcotics detective

Brooklyn, December 1970

Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III

Background

To celebrate this weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony, BAMF Style is looking at The French Connection, which took home five Oscars in 1972 including Best Picture and – for Gene Hackman’s portrayal of unorthodox narc “Popeye” Doyle – Best Actor. It was the first R-rated movie to win the coveted Best Picture award, and its gritty realism set the tone for one of the greatest decades in American filmmaking. Continue reading

Popeye Doyle’s Peacoat and Pontiac

Gene Hackman as

Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, rough but dedicated NYPD narcotics detective

Brooklyn, December 1970

Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III

Background

Car chases have been engrained in American cinema since the early days of the Keystone Kops. As the interest in cars grew, auto manufacturers began highlighting their most innovative products through on-screen action. The James Bond franchise innovated the use of car chases with Goldfinger‘s gadget-laden Aston Martin DB5 and a conveniently placed Ford Mustang convertible. The Mustang poked its head out again for the seminal chase in Bullitt as Steve McQueen faced off against a black ’68 Dodge Charger in his Mustang GT-390. After Bullitt, filmmakers began exploring the possibilities of cars on film. New, exciting cars were showcased like the new Dodge Challenger in Vanishing Point to the new Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever.

For The French Connection, William Friedkin’s 1971 film based on Robin Moore’s book about intrepid NYPD cops Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, the car chase formula was injected with something new. Rather than the super-cool hero coolly chasing a villain in his super-cool car, the film places its ragged protagonist off-duty cop in an ordinary sedan commandeered from a civilian. Not only that, but this villain isn’t in a car; rather, he has hijacked an elevated train as Popeye is forced to race the train to each stop. Continue reading