For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!
I went into watching this movie with little to no expectations and found that I very much enjoyed it. It’s a gritty, semi-documentary style look at a ‘good cop/bad cop’ situation. Gene Hackman is genius as the ‘bad’ cop Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle with the very talented Roy Schelder as the ‘good’ cop Buddy Russo. They are narcotics agents who have been on this case for some time and spend the movie making all of the connections needed for ‘the big bust’. What’s neat about the film is that several of the fictional characters depicted have real-life counterparts.
I loved the cuts from the Mediterranean-side Marseilles, France to New York, NY- it kept the story moving from both sides. New York and Marseilles became characters themselves. Even Washington D.C. gets a little shout out. The scene when they’re taking the car apart is fantastic. I’ve seen other movies with similar scenes and this one is the granddaddy. Everything is done so well. The car chase and the bust at the end of the movie are epic. The car chase was filmed- unusually- and not entirely legally- at full speed, with real pedestrians and traffic, and only five staged stunts. It was filmed beneath the Bensonhurst Elevated Railway- for 26 blocks of Brooklyn’s Stillwell line.
All I can say is, wow.
In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns: