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  • French Connection at 50...

    https://amp.theguardian.com/film/202...mpression=true

  • #2
    As good as the entire movie was, the car chase scene is just phenomenal. Knowing how it was filmed...in some cases without proper permits and without closing the streets...and somehow no one being killed although one unsuspecting local had his car totaled. I've been on those streets where that chase occurred many times and it's absolutely amazing that anyone could drive at those speeds without major precautions being taken and not have a major calamity. It took 5 weeks to film.

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    • #3
      I was thinking about Hackman recently, I hope he's doing well. "FC" amazing movie.
      Another anniversary coming (30) for " JFK." Both films: ground breaking change.
      Read Friedkin's bio: Hackman wasn't first (studio) choice. He didn't like Al Pacino (another film).

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      • #4
        Friedkin's commentary on the DVD describes how he had no city permission to shoot. Just Eddie Eagan's police buddies helping out. The car chase was basically in real traffic...however the baby carriage scene was staged.

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        • #5
          Jimmy Breslin was apparently the studio's choice for Popeye. As crazy as it sounds he couldn't get the role anyway due to lack of Divers Lic.

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          • #6
            I never really put together that the car was a Pontiac LeMans. Pretty funny to use an ugly American car essentially named after French racing. Pretty fitting for the movie. Not iconic like Steve McQueen's Mustang.

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            • #7
              Does anyone have any idea what "You picking your feet in Poughkeepsie?" means???

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Adam$ View Post
                I was thinking about Hackman recently, I hope he's doing well. "FC" amazing movie.
                Another anniversary coming (30) for " JFK." Both films: ground breaking change.
                Read Friedkin's bio: Hackman wasn't first (studio) choice. He didn't like Al Pacino (another film).
                JFK was horrible. A delusional conspiracy rant by Stone.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Adam$ View Post
                  Jimmy Breslin was apparently the studio's choice for Popeye. As crazy as it sounds he couldn't get the role anyway due to lack of Divers Lic.
                  In NYC not unusual at all...particularly at that point in time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adam$ View Post
                    Jimmy Breslin was apparently the studio's choice for Popeye. As crazy as it sounds he couldn't get the role anyway due to lack of Divers Lic.
                    Who was going to stop him from driving? Friedkin had his own police force for the movie.

                    The problem was Breslin wouldn't drive at all....

                    Though the cast ultimately proved to be one of the film's greatest strengths, Friedkin had problems with casting choices from the start. He was strongly opposed to the choice of Hackman for the lead, and actually first considered Paul Newman (out of the budget range), then Jackie Gleason, Peter Boyle and a New York columnist, Jimmy Breslin, who had never acted before. However, Gleason, at that time, was considered box-office poison by the studio after his film Gigot had flopped several years before, Boyle declined the role after disapproving of the violent theme of the film, and Breslin refused to get behind the wheel of a car, which was required of Popeye's character for an integral car chase scene.

                    Steve McQueen was also considered, but he did not want to do another police film after Bullitt and, as with Newman, his fee would have exceeded the movie's budget. Tough guy Charles Bronson was also considered for the role. Lee Marvin, James Caan, and Robert Mitchum were also considered; all turned it down. Friedkin almost settled for Rod Taylor (who had actively pursued the role, according to Hackman), another choice the studio approved, before he went with Hackman.


                    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...nnection_(film)
                    Last edited by Conor Dary; 10-10-2021, 07:56 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Interesting article by Friedkin....

                      A word about the commandeered car: It was a brown, 1970 Pontiac, four-door sedan, equipped with a four-speed gearshift. We had a duplicate of this car with the back seat removed so we could slip in camera mounts at will. The original car was not gutted, but remained intact so that it would be shot from the exterior.

                      The entire chase was shot with an Arriflex camera, as was most of the picture. There was a front bumper mount, which usually had a 30- or 50-millimeter lens set close to the ground for point-of-view shots. Within the car, there were two mounts. One was for an angle that would include Hackman driving and shoot over his shoulder with focus given to the exterior. The other was for straight-ahead points-of-view out the front window, exclusive of Hackman.

                      Whenever we made shots of Hackman at the wheel, all three mounted cameras were usually filming. When Hackman was not driving, I did not use the over-shoulder camera. For all of the exterior stunts, I had three cameras going constantly. Because we were using real pedestrians and traffic at all times, it was impossible to undercrank, so everything was shot at normal speed. In most shots, the car was going at speeds between 70 to 90 miles an hour. This included times when Hackman was driving, and I should point out that he drove considerably more than half of the shots that are used in the final cutting sequence.


                      http://www.dga.org/Craft/DGAQ/All-Ar...f-a-Chase.aspx

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                      • #12
                        For one particular shot, we used no controls whatsoever. This was a shot with two cameras mounted, one inside and one outside the car. The inside camera was on a 50 mm lens, shooting through the front window; the outside camera was on a 25 mm mounted to the front bumper. I was in the car. Bill Hickman drove the entire distance of the chase run, approximately 26 blocks, at 70 to 90 miles an hour. With no control at all and only a siren on top of his car, we went through red lights and drove in the wrong lane. This was, of course, the wrap shot of the film. I made two takes and from these we got most of the point-of-view shots for the entire sequence.

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                        • #13
                          I think there's mention of Friedkin having to shoot at least some of the car chase scenes himself because the cameramen had families and refused to do the work.

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                          • #14
                            "JFK was horrible. A delusional conspiracy rant by Stone."
                            -------------------------
                            Stone didn't write the script. It wasn't delusional (not even close). Pres' Johnson and Ford didn't believe the Warren Com. Neither did Bobby Kennedy. Or anyone with any sense. The film is a technical marvel (Oscar win) with a great cast. Even if you don't like the content.

                            Friedkin also had a lot $$$ trouble getting To Live and Die in LA made. Another car scene that is pretty crazy even though staged.
                            Film did poorly at Box Office. Friedkin must of cashed in somewhere because he apparently was serious about trying to buy the Boston Celtics.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                              I think there's mention of Friedkin having to shoot at least some of the car chase scenes himself because the cameramen had families and refused to do the work.
                              Where did you read that? In that 1972 article...

                              On the first day of shooting the chase, we scheduled the first stunt, which was to be Doyle's car spinning off a car that had shot out of an intersection. I had four cameras operating. Two were in a gas station approximately 100 yards from where the spinoff would occur. One was on the roof of the station with a 500 mm lens, and another had a zoom lens on the ground, hidden behind a car. Two more cameras were on the street, directly parallel to the ones in the gas station, also about 100 yards from where the spinoff was to occur.

                              What we hoped would not happen, happened, causing this shot to be much more exciting than Hickman or I had planned. The stunt driver who was in the other car mis-timed his approach to Doyle's car (with Hickman driving), and instead of screeching to a halt several feet before it, miscued and rammed it broadside. Both cars were accordions, and so on the first shot of the first day of shooting the chase, we rammed our chase car and virtually destroyed it on the driver's side.

                              Fortunately, neither Hickman nor the driver of the other car were hurt. I was able to pick up the action after the crash with Doyle's car swerving off and continuing on its way. Naturally, right after this spectacular crash occurred, all four cameramen chimed out, "Ready when you are, B.F."

                              Last edited by Conor Dary; 10-10-2021, 09:05 PM.

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