The French Connection with Vince Gilligan


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This week on On Story we’ll join Breaking Bad creator & showrunner Vince Gilligan for a retrospective look at the 1971 cult-classic The French Connection.

Based on a true story, William Friedkin's 1971 hit The French Connection, gave audiences its first taste at what a truly realistic cop film could be. Starring Gene Hackman as detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, the film follows the story of a driven New York cop whose intuitive street sense allows him to sniff out the secret players in a colossal heroin import operation, bringing the drugs into New York from Marseille. At a time where drug addiction was at an all time high, The French Connection brought a sense of realism to Hollywood’s law enforcement films by throwing the proverbial book at them.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, an avid fan of Friedkin’s work, sat down with me after a retrospective screening of the film at the Austin Film Festival.

Clips of The French Connection courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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