Brooklyn focal point

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German title Brooklyn focal point
Original title The French Connection
Country of production United States
original language English , French
Publishing year 1971
length 104 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director William Friedkin
script Ernest Tidyman
production Philip D'Antoni
music Don Ellis ,
Jimmy Webb
camera Owen Roizman
cut Gerald B. Greenberg

Successor  →
French Connection II

Brennpunkt Brooklyn (original title: The French Connection , also: French Connection I ) is an American thriller from 1971, which was awarded, among other things, the Oscar for best film . The book The French Connection by Robin Moore , published in 1969 and based on real events from New York in the early 1960s, served as a template . The thriller was adapted by Ernest Tidyman for director William Friedkin .


Cops Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle and Buddy “Cloudy” Russo are on the drug squad in the New York City Police Department .

Doyle and his partner go to Copacabana nightclub after a night shift because they cannot sleep. There they happened to notice someone who they observed on a whim "... give him a tail" . You observe this suspicious person and discover that his living conditions are not in line with his behavior in the nightclub. In the nightclub, the suspect threw money around, which is disproportionate to his current job. The basis for further investigations is thus laid. The initial observations were followed by wiretapping.

The police tailing Salvatore Boca, the purchase of 89-percent of heroin worth 32 million US dollars from the French drug boss Alain Charnier from Marseille plans.

Since "Popeye" and "Cloudy" are getting closer and closer to Charnier through their investigations, Charnier instigates a murder attempt on "Popeye". This leads to a brutal elevated train kidnapping and car chase . "Popeye", who risked his life several times in the chase, sets and shoots the killer.

During a nightly surveillance he confiscated the vehicle that the French actor Devereaux had brought to the USA on behalf of Charnier. At first, the impression arises that “Popeye” had again reached out to nothing: the police found nothing in the car. “Popeye” has the car brought to the workshop and dismantled it into its individual parts. When there is no longer any hope of discovering anything useful, "Popeye" finds the drugs under a bar in the side sill.

Police set a trap for US and French gangsters to hand over drugs; This leads to an exchange of fire between the police and the "French Connection" in an abandoned factory building outside of New York. In this firefight, "Popeye" mistakenly shot and killed Mulderig, an FBI officer , but continued to pursue Charnier.

Here “Popeye” leaves the viewer's point of view , a shot is fired off- screen and the end credits of the film begin. A fade-in informs the audience about the fate of the most important film characters: The two policemen "Popeye" and "Cloudy" were transferred from the drug squad, Joel Weinstock and Angie Boca got away without prison sentence, Lou Boca received a reduced sentence and Devereaux four years in prison . Charnier was never caught and it is believed that he would continue to live unmolested in France.


The film and the book were based on a drug discovery in 1962, which was one of the largest in New York police history to date. The policeman Eddie Egan (1930–1995), who was considered one of the toughest police officers in New York and served as a model for the main character of Doyle (like this he was nicknamed "Popeye"), was largely responsible for the find. Egan acted as an advisor during the shooting and also took on the supporting role of Simonson , Doyle's manager. When more Hollywood offers followed, Egan said goodbye to the police and started working as an actor. Egan's police partner Sonny Grosso (1930-2020), who later worked as a technical advisor and co-producer of police series such as Kojak - Einsatz in Manhattan and Baretta , served as a model for the figure of Russo played by Roy Scheider .

According to Friedkin, legendary New York newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin was originally slated for the role of Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle . Then Friedkin decided to re-cast the role with Peter Boyle . When he - alongside James Caan  - declined the role, the choice fell on Gene Hackman and marked his breakthrough as a character actor.

Even Steve McQueen was offered a starring role in the film. But since he had already played a police officer in Bullitt in 1968 , he turned down the offer.

Fernando Rey's cast is also due to an error. William Friedkin wanted to cast an actor he had previously seen in the film Belle de Jour (1967). After first meeting Rey and seeing that he was not the actor he was expecting, he phoned Robert Weiner, the casting director, and learned that he had mistaken Rey's name for the real actor, Francisco Rabal . Friedkin wanted to fire Rey thereupon; But since Rabal wasn't available and didn't speak a word of English, he finally decided on Fernando Rey.

The roles of the manager and a colleague of "Popeye" and "Cloudy" were cast with the real police officers Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, on which the characters of "Popeye" and "Cloudy" are based. Roy Scheider and Gene Hackman patrolled Egan for a month to prepare for the role. During this time, Hackman helped arrest a suspect and was therefore charged with presumption.

At the end of the film, a fade-in informs the audience that “Popeye” and “Cloudy” have been transferred from the drug squad. Eddie Egan was always unhappy that the film implied that this happened to Sonny Grosso and to him in reality. In fact, the police were separated four years later and solved two similar drug cases.

The " New Hollywood " classic French Connection - Hot Spot Brooklyn was a. a. awarded five Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. A newspaper article quoted one of the actors as saying "that they often ignored the dialogues of the script and instead used sayings and statements that the police advisers gave them during rehearsals". Ironically, the script also won an Oscar.

French Connection II , the sequel to French Connection directedby John Frankenheimer - focal point Brooklyn - this time without Roy Scheider - was able to build on the great success of the first part.


Overall, the film received five Academy Awards and three other nominations, as well as three Golden Globes and numerous other awards, making it one of the best films in the genre.

The film was also nominated for an Oscar in the categories of Best Supporting Actor ( Roy Scheider ), Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman) and Best Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Christopher Newman).

Gene Hackman also won the National Board of Review's Best Actor Award in 1971 .

  • Awards from the renowned American Film Institute
    • 1998: Place 70 of the best 100 films of all time
    • 2007: 93rd place in the list of the same name
    • # 8 on the list of the 100 best thrillers of all time
    • The role of Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle , played by Gene Hackman , reached number 44 on the list of the top 50 movie heroes of all time.


"A virtuoso thriller that skillfully uses realistic details and the atmosphere of the original locations to increase tension and with the figure of the detective Doyle creates the complex portrait of a broken, disaffected lone fighter."

“It's just a thin line that separates the police and the violent criminal: With this view of modern America, director William Friedkin (“ The Exorcist ”) set new standards for the crime genre in the early 1970s. No hero worship, no transfiguration: Free from troubled emotions, authentic and downright cold, Friedkin scrutinizes the merciless war between drug dealers and the police. [...] Conclusion: The classic of the modern cop film. "


In one of the takes of the film, when the Lincoln Continental  Mark III is being unloaded from a cargo ship, the two towers of the World Trade Center can be seen as they are being built.

French Connection - Focal Point Brooklyn was one of the first films to be rented from a video store (the first store in the US opened in 1977 in Hollywood , founded by George Atkinson ).

During the elevated train chase, "Popeye" rams a car coming out of a property exit. This accident - in which no one was injured - was not a planned part of the script; the streets had been cordoned off for this scene, but the property exits had been forgotten. The shooting of the French killer was filmed in Brooklyn at Bay 50th Street metro station and the showdown was filmed on Wards Island (in the East River).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Approval for Focal Point Brooklyn . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , October 2008 (PDF; test number: 44 288 V / DVD).
  2. Chicago Tribune: EDDIE EGAN, COP DEPICTED IN `FRENCH CONNECTION '. Retrieved August 19, 2020 (American English).
  3. David M. Herszenhorn: Edward R. Egan, Police Officer Who Inspired Movie, Dies at 65 . In: The New York Times . November 6, 1995, ISSN  0362-4331 ( [accessed August 19, 2020]).
  4. Tina Moore, Ben Feuerherd: Former NYPD detective Sonny Grosso, whose work inspired 'The French Connection,' dead at 89. In: New York Post. January 23, 2020, accessed August 19, 2020 (American English).
  5. Focal Point Brooklyn. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  6. ^ A review of Cinema