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23 Things You Never Knew About 'The French Connection'

When you think of Best Picture Oscar winners, you think of grand epics or weighty historical topics, not grimy, intimate cops-and-robbers dramas. "The French Connection" changed all that when it was released 45 years ago this week (on October 9, 1971). It proved that true-crime dramas could be the stuff of both high art and blockbuster action filmmaking. It won Best Picture and four other Oscars, made A-listers of Gene Hackman and director William Friedkin, and thrilled audiences with what is still one of the most hair-raising car chase sequences ever filmed.
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