Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 50 Greatest NYC Movies — #17

The French Connection (dir. William Friedkin, 1971)

08-03 The French Connection

The legendary chase scene between a car and the elevated train in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, would be enough to land this cat-and-mouse hunt between cop and drug smuggler its prominent place on this list. But, in addition, Friedkin gives us a vivid time capsule of early 70’s New York at its gritty worst — from Times Square, to the labyrinthine subway corridors of the time, to Madison Avenue before it was quite so posh as it is today. So intrinsic is the city and the era to this thriller that even the minor shots of the in-progress construction of the Twin Towers seem irreplaceable and essential.

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