William Friedkin

  • William Friedkin – The Brink’s Job (1978)

    The Brink’s Job tells the real-life story of a group of small-time, working-class robbers in Boston, who came together and pulled off the largest robbery in US history, taking the Brink’s security company for $2.8 million in 1950. Peter Falk plays the ringleader. He tells his wife (Gena Rowlands): “All that money is in there, and it’s being held prisoner, it’s just screaming to me through the walls… Well I’m going in there, and I’m gonna get it out.” The film follows the group’s task (and their environment, and their pursuers) with an eye to the pragmatic, but it’s not so procedural (in the sense of Friedkin’s earlier Sorcerer or French Connection) as to hamper the movie’s broad purpose: reanimating an old news headline, into a fun sort of ensemble heist folktale.Read More »

  • William Friedkin – Cruising (1980)

    A 1980 psychological thriller film directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, about a serial killer targeting gay men, in particular those associated with the S&M scene.
    Poorly reviewed by critics, Cruising was a modest financial success, though the filming and promotion were dogged by gay rights protesters. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning, as “cruising” can describe police officers on patrol and also cruising for sex.Read More »

  • William Friedkin – The People vs. Paul Crump (1962)

    A very young William Friedkin produced and directed this documentary for television in 1962 when Paul Crump had been in prison for nine years, waiting on death row. Crump was convicted for the shooting death of a Chicago meat-packing plant’s security guard during an armed robbery, which netted some $20,000. Chicago police quickly moved in, arrested Crump, and convicted him, primarily based on the testimony of one of those convicted for the crime. Crump claims he’s innocent, was with a woman the day of the crime, and the woman later testifies in his defense, only to disappear later due to a public outcry and ridicule.Read More »

  • William Friedkin – To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

    Worthy of the director of “French Connection,” the pace of this set- in-LA action thriller immediately draws the view in and never lets up. A car chase in the best traditions of “Bullitt” and of Friedkin’s own “French Connection” is centers the action, but the motivation of a rogue agent obsessed with the death of his partner, and clearly with his own death, are well- and credibly- drawn. The most sympathetic character in the story is not one of the principals. It is a female informer. An ex-con at the mercy of those on both sides of the law, she is callously exploited by all. Her feelings for Agent Chance are more implied than explicit, but they are believable as is his indifference to her as a person. This riveting film never lets your attention wander. Thanks to Friedkin, we are told, we are given a credible ending to this taut, tightly- wound thriller. An under-exposed, under-appreciated work; excellent for the genre.Read More »

  • William Friedkin – Bug (2006)

    Having escaped her abusive ex-husband Goss (Harry Connick Jr.), recently released from state prison, Agnes (Ashley Judd), a lonely waitress with a tragic past moves into a sleazy, run-down motel and her lesbian co-worker R.C (Lynn Collins) introduces her to Gulf War veteran Peter (Michael Shannon), a peculiar, paranoiac drifter and they begin a tentative romance. However, things don’t always seem as they appear and Agnes is about to experience a claustrophobic nightmare reality as the bugs begin to arrive…Read More »

  • William Friedkin – The French Connection (1971)

    The French Connection is a 1971 American crime film directed by William Friedkin. The film was adapted and fictionalized by Ernest Tidyman from the non-fiction book by Robin Moore. It tells the story of New York Police Department detectives named “Popeye” Doyle and Buddy Russo, whose real-life counterparts were Narcotics Detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso. Egan and Grosso also appear in the film, as characters other than themselves.Read More »

  • William Friedkin – Sorcerer (1977)


    Description: Sorcerer is a 1977 film, produced and directed by William Friedkin, starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal and Amidou. It is a remake of the 1953 French film Le Salaire de la Peur (Wages of Fear). Sorcerer followed Friedkin’s highly successful The French Connection and The Exorcist, but was a major commercial failure. The budget was estimated at over $22 million, a substantial sum at the time. With a gross of $12 million, the film did not recoup its costs. The film was co-produced by Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures, with Universal handling U.S. distribution and Paramount handling the international release. Sorcerer is also notable for its electronic score by Tangerine Dream, which was their first Hollywood film soundtrack, and led to them becoming popular soundtrack composers in the 80s.Read More »

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