Scene of the Week: The French Connection
Earlier this month I was watching an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Blue Bloods. This particular episode entitled “The Bullitt Mustang” had a Steve McQueen in Bullitt theme.
The episode reminded me of one of the great movie debates of all-time, Does Bullitt or The French Connection have the best car chase scene ever captured on film?
I know what side the writers of Blue Boods fall on and I know that I personally fall on the side of The French Connection. So I took to Twitter and utilized the new Twitter Poll feature and asked our Twitter followers the question. The response we got, while in no ways overwhelming, was 70% for The French Connection and 30% for Bullitt. So for the first time in the history of the site, the fans have actually helped select this week’s Scene of the Week!
Before we watch, a little behind the scenes info on this classic car chase scene…
- The car chase was filmed without obtaining the proper permits from the city.
- Off duty NYPD cops, many who were involved in the actual case the movie was based on, helped control the traffic so the chase could be shot.
- There was a camera mounted to the car’s bumper to capture the car’s point of view shots.
- Gene Hackman did some of the driving in the scene, but stunt driver Bill Hickman did all of the dangerous work. Hickman was also the driver of the Dodge Charger that Steve McQueen is pursuing in Bullitt. In fact it was Hickman’s work in Bullitt that got him the job on The French Connection.
- With Hickman behind the wheel, director William Friedkin was in the backseat operating the camera. Friedkin would not allow any of his other camera operators to do it, since they were all married with children and he was not.
And now for this week’s Scene of the Week…