William Friedkin’s multi-Oscar-winning gritty urban crime drama tells the real-life story of two New York narcotics cops’ attempts to bring down a French drugs kingpin. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider play detectives James ‘Popeye’ Doyle and Buddy Russo who, while investigating relatively minor-league drugs pushers, learn that a massive shipment of very pure heroin is about to arrive in the city.
The heroin is being imported from Marseille by Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey), who is prepared to do anything, including murdering policemen, to get his narcotics out on the streets. But, although they know it’s on its way, Doyle and Russo don’t know how. And they make life more difficult for themselves by battling with FBI agent Mulderig (Bill Hickman), who’s also working the case.
Hickman was the stunt driver pursued by Steve McQueen in Bullitt; and was also behind the wheel for the famous chase in this movie, which was shot in real traffic.

Gene Hackman as Jimmy Doyle
Fernando Rey as Alain Charnier
Roy Scheider as Buddy Russo
Tony Lo Bianco as Sal Boca
Marcel Bozzuffi as Pierre Nicoli
Frédéric de Pasquale as Devereaux
Bill Hickman as Mulderig
Ann Rebbot as Marie Charnier
Harold Gary as Weinstock
Arlene Farber as Angie Boca
Eddie Egan as Simonson
André Ernotte as La Valle
Sonny Grosso as Klein
Benny Marino as Lou Boca
Patrick McDermott as Chemist
Alan Weeks as Pusher
Al Fann as Informant
Irving Abrahams as Police Mechanic
Randy Jurgensen as Police Sergeant
William Coke as Motorman
Director: William Friedkin
US | 104 minutes | 1971