New Hollywood 1970s: The French Connection (1971)


Main Theater Mon, Oct 23 7:00 PM
Run Time:1H 44M
Release Year:1971


Please join us in the Main Theater of The Dreamland for this very special, repertore series hosted by Dreamland board member and Film for Thought co-programmer Charley Walters. Charley will introduce the film each week and moderate a discussion following each title.

This series is FREE to Dreamland members! Become a
Dreamland Member today!  Or $10 + $3 service fee for non-members.

Monday, October 23 - THE FRENCH CONNECTION is a 1971 American neo-noir action thriller film starring Gene HackmanRoy Scheider, and Fernando Rey, and directed by William Friedkin. The screenplay, written by Ernest Tidyman, is based on Robin Moore's 1969 non-fiction book of the same name. It tells the story of fictional NYPD detectives Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo, whose real-life counterparts were narcotics detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, in pursuit of wealthy French heroin smuggler Alain Charnier (played by Rey).

At the 44th Academy Awards, the film earned eight nominations and won five for Best PictureBest Actor (Hackman), Best DirectorBest Film Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Scheider), Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. Tidyman also received a Golden Globe Award nomination, a Writers Guild of America Award and an Edgar Award for his screenplay. Often considered one of the greatest films ever made, The French Connection appeared in the American Film Institute's list of the best American films in 1998 and again in 2007. In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


Be Sure to Reserve Tickets for the Other Screenings of the New Hollywood Series:

Monday, October 30 – THE CANDIDATE is a 1972 American political comedy-drama film starring Robert Redford and Peter Boyle, and directed by Michael Ritchie. The Academy Award–winning screenplay, which examines the various facets and machinations involved in political campaigns, was written by Jeremy Larner, a speechwriter for Senator Eugene J. McCarthy during McCarthy's campaign for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.


Monday, November 6 – THE CONVERSATION is a 1974 American mystery thriller film written, produced, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gene HackmanJohn CazaleAllen GarfieldCindy WilliamsFrederic ForrestHarrison FordTeri Garr, and Robert Duvall. The film revolves around a surveillance expert and the moral dilemma he faces when his recordings reveal a potential murder.

The Conversation premiered at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d'Or, the festival's highest prize, and was released theatrically on April 7, 1974, by Paramount Pictures to critical acclaim but box office disappointment, grossing $4.4 million on a $1.6 million budget. The film received three nominations at the 47th Academy AwardsBest PictureBest Original Screenplay, and Best Sound.

In 1995, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


Monday, November 13 - CHINATOWN is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the California water wars, a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century, by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley. The Robert Evans production, released by Paramount Pictures, was the director's last film in the United States and features many elements of film noir, particularly a multi-layered story that is part mystery and part psychological drama.

Chinatown was released in the United States on June 20, 1974, to acclaim from critics. At the 47th Academy Awards, it was nominated for 11 Oscars, with Towne winning Best Original Screenplay. The Golden Globe Awards honored it for Best DramaBest DirectorBest Actor, and Best Screenplay. The American Film Institute placed it second among its top ten mystery films in 2008. In 1991, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". It is also often cited as one of the greatest films of all time.


Monday, November 20 – TAXI DRIVER is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Robert De NiroJodie FosterCybill ShepherdHarvey KeitelPeter BoyleLeonard Harris, and Albert Brooks. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War, the film follows Travis Bickle (De Niro), a taxi driver, and his deteriorating mental state as he works nights in the city.

With The Wrong Man (1956) and A Bigger Splash (1973) as inspiration, Scorsese wanted the film to feel like a dream to audiences. With cinematographer Michael Chapman, filming began in the summer of 1975 in New York City, with actors taking pay cuts to ensure that the project could be completed on a low budget of $1.9 million. Production concluded that same year. Bernard Herrmann composed the film's music in what would be his final score, finished just several hours before his death; the film is dedicated to him.

The film was theatrically released by Columbia Pictures on February 7, 1976, and was a critical and commercial success despite generating controversy for its graphic violence in the climactic ending and the casting of then 12-year-old Foster in the role of a child prostitute. The film received numerous accolades including the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and four nominations at the 49th Academy Awards, including Best PictureBest Actor (for De Niro), and Best Supporting Actress (for Foster).

Although Taxi Driver generated further controversy for its role in John Hinckley Jr.'s motive to attempt to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan, the film has remained popular and is considered one of the most culturally significant and inspirational of its time and one of the greatest films ever made and garnered cult status. In 2022, Sight & Sound named it the 29th-best film ever in its decennial critics' poll, and the 12th-greatest film of all time on its directors' poll, tied with Barry Lyndon. In 1994, the film was considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Monday, November 27 – BLUE COLLAR is a 1978 American crime drama film directed by Paul Schrader in his directorial debut. Written by Schrader and his brother Leonard, the film stars Richard PryorHarvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto. The film is both a critique of union practices and an examination of life in a working-class Rust Belt enclave.

Schrader, who wrote the script for Taxi Driver (1976), recalls the shooting as being very difficult because of the artistic and personal tensions he had with the actors (including the stars themselves). Schrader has also stated that while making the film, he suffered an on-set mental breakdown, which made him seriously reconsider his career.