D: John Frankenheimer
20th Century Fox (Robert L. Rosen)
US 🇺🇸 1975
W: Alexander Jacobs, Robert Dillon & Laurie Dillon
DP: Claude Renoir
Ed: Tom Rolf
Mus: Don Ellis
Gene Hackman (Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle), Fernando Rey (Alain Charnier), Bernard Fresson (Henri Barthelemy), Philippe Leotard (Jacques), Ed Lauter (Gen. Brian)
Gene Hackman & Fernando Rey return, but the rest of the cast & crew (and even the definite article in the title) from the 1971 classic step aside for a fictionalised sequel to the true events that were dramatised in the first film.
Narcotics cop Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle travels to Marseilles so he can identify drug dealer Alain Charnier and bring him to justice, but ultimately finds himself in too deep out of his native city.
This sequel is very different to the first film, not only because of the director switch, but it also feels like the studio wanted real closure to the story, which was left quite open to interpretation in the first film.
Considering this was released when sequels weren’t really a thing, this is far from a cash-grab, and is actually quite a good thriller in its own right, and Gene Hackman is excellent in his reprisal of the role which won him a Best Actor Oscar, but the film is nowhere near in the same league as the 1971 Best Picture winner.