Welcome to Director Watch! On this AwardsWatch podcast, co-hosts Ryan McQuade and Jay Ledbetter attempt to breakdown, analyze, and ultimately, get inside the mind of some of cinema’s greatest auteurs. In doing so, they will look at their filmographies, explore what drives them artistically and what makes their decision making process so fascinating. Add in a few silly tangents and a fun game at the end of the episode and you’ve got yourself a podcast we truly hope you love. On episode 28 of the Director Watch Podcast, the boys are joined AwardsWatch Associate Editor Sophia Ciminello to discuss the latest film in their William Friedkin series, The French Connection (1971).
Though The Boys in the Band was a significant film in Friedkin’s filmography, the young director hadn’t quite yet made a hit, and was running out of chances within the Hollywood system. But along came The French Connection, a movie made right around the success of Bullitt, where audiences were ready for a cat and mouse cop movie with really good chance sequences. Though it fits that templet, The French Connection finds Friedkin dabbling into the grimy workings of a anti-hero cop who is looking to break the case of a lifetime, regardless of the collateral damage he leaves in his path. Led by an all time, Oscar winning performance from Gene Hackman, Friedkin made the hit of the year, and went on to win the Oscar for Best Director, and the film landed the Best Picture win of 1971. Ryan, Jay and Sophia breakdown all the crazy behind the scene stories from the making of the film, Friedkin’s account of the events, Friedkin thought’s on Hackman, the original ending of the film, the French New Wave influences, if Popeye Doyle is good at his job, if this is an all-time Best Picture winners for Dads, and more than a couple of signature tangents from the gang.
You can listen to the Director Watch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and more.
This podcast runs 2h10m. The guys will be back later this week to continue their series covering the films of William Friedkin with a review of his next film, The Exorcist. You can stream the film on Max. You can rent it via iTunes and Amazon Prime rental in preparation for the next episode of Director Watch. Till then, let’s get into it.
Music: MUSICALIFE, from Pond5 (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro)