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The French Connection

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The French Connection
Theatrical Release Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpgUnited States
Directed by William Friedkin
Release Date 1971
Studio 20th Century Fox
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Main Cast
Character Actor
Det. James "Popeye" Doyle Gene Hackman
Det. Buddy "Cloudy" Russo Roy Scheider
Salvatore "Sal" Boca Tony Lo Bianco
Pierre Nicoli Marcel Bozzuffi
Alain Charnier Fernando Rey

The French Connection is the 1971 crime drama starring Gene Hackman as James "Popeye" Doyle, a relentless NYPD detective who is determined to take down the infamous drug trafficking ring. The film was directed by William Friedkin and was based on author Robin Moore's 1969 non-fiction book The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, which itself was based on the actual cases investigated by Detective Eddie Egan, who co-stars in the film as Captain Walt Simonson. The film is remembered for its realistic portrayal of police work as well as for its famous car chase with an elevated train. The film would go to be nominated for 8 Academy Awards and would receive 5, including the Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Hackman, who would return as Doyle in the 1975 sequel French Connection II. Popeye Doyle, a television film that starred Ed O'Neill as Doyle premiered in 1986.

The following weapons were used in the film The French Connection:


Colt Detective Special

Many of the NYPD detectives, including Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman), Walt Simonson (Eddie Egan), the real life basis for Doyle), and FBI agent Bill Mulderig (Bill Hickman), carry Colt Detective Specials. Doyle keeps his in an ankle holster, although it switches in several scenes to a Smith & Wesson Model 36. Several of Boca's mobsters, including his brother Lou (Benny Marino), also use Detective Specials.

Colt Detective Special - .38 Special
Doyle's Colt DS in his ankle holster.
Det. Walt Simonson (Eddie Egan, who was the real life basis for Doyle) carries his Colt Detective Special in a waist holster as he talks to Russo.
Doyle draws his Detective Special when Nicoli shoots at him.
Doyle aims his Detective Special at Nicoli before the elevated train car chase.
Mulderig holds his Colt DS on a car stripper.
Lou and another mobster fire Detective Specials.
Doyle spins around with his Detective Special drawn, not realizing Russo was behind him.

Smith & Wesson Model 36

Due to continuity errors, some shots of Det. "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) pursuing Nicoli after the car chase and searching for Charnier after the bust, his Colt Detective Special is now a Smith & Wesson Model 36. Salvatore "Sal" Boca (Tony Lo Bianco) and some of his mobsters also fire Model 36s at the NYPD.

Smith and Wesson Model 36 - .38 Special
Doyle aims at Nicoli with a Model 36 (even though he had a Colt DS earlier in the scene).
Sal Boca fires at the police.
At the top of the screen, Boca fires his Model 36 as another henchman fires a Detective Special and a Beretta Model 70.
Doyle searches for Charnier, his Colt DS now a Model 36.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 (Snub)

Det. Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider) carries a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Snub Nose with a square butt as his sidearm.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver Snub Nose - .38 Special
Russo searches for Charnier with his Model 10 Snub.
Russo aims his Model 10 Snub.

Smith & Wesson Model 10HB

The Smith & Wesson Model 10 is the sidearm carried by the majority of the uniformed NYPD officers in the film.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 HB (heavy barrel) revolver (Post 1950s Model) - .38 Special.
The NYPD officer on the right uses the revolver.


Colt Gold Cup National Match

Charnier's hitman Pierre Nicoli (Marcel Bozzuffi) carries a Colt Gold Cup National Match , or the GCNM in short, as his sidearm throughout the film, notably using it to hijack the BMT West End Line elevated train.

Colt Gold Cup National Match (Mark IV, Series 70) - .45 ACP.
Nicoli shoots a French policeman in Marseilles. The firearm here is obviously not a standard GCNM as indicated by the standard 1911 sights, round-top slide (instead of a grooved flat-top), and the lack of a bushing and spring plug.
Nicoli (Marcel Bozzuffi) uses his pistol during a confrontation with a New York transit policeman.
Nicoli threatens the subway motorman with the pistol. Note the adjustable sights.
Nicoli's Colt Gold Cup National Match.

Beretta Model 70

One of Boca's mobsters fires at the NYPD with a Beretta Model 70.

Beretta Model 70 - .32 ACP
At the bottom left, a mobster fires a Beretta Model 70.


Winchester Model 1897

Det. Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider) and several other NYPD officers fire Winchester Model 1897 shotguns at the mobsters and drug dealers during the final shootout.

Winchester Model 1897 - 12 gauge. This is an imported copy of the non-take down version of the Winchester 1897 Shotgun (a Norinco 97W shotgun, imported by IAC).
Det. Buddy "Cloudy" Russo (Roy Scheider) armed with the Winchester Model 1897 shotgun.
The NYPD officer on the right uses the Winchester Model 1897.
Russo fires his Winchester '97.

High Standard FLITE KING K-1200 Riot Shotgun

Several uniformed NYPD officers are armed with the High Standard FLITE KING K-1200 Riot Standard Model shotgun during the final shootout.

High Standard FLITE KING K-1200 Riot Standard Model (Catalog #8111) - 12 gauge. This is the screen used shotgun, held by Steve McQueen in the film The Getaway (1972).
On the left, a uniformed officer holds the shotgun with the extended mag tube.
A uniformed officer aims the High Standard FLITE KING K-1200 Riot Standard Model shotgun at the mobsters' drughouse.
In the center, the officer uses the shotgun.


Winchester Model 70

Pierre Nicoli (Marcel Bozzuffi) uses a Winchester Model 70 to snipe at Doyle, accidentally hitting a woman who was standing near him.

Pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 - .30-06
Doyle finds Nicoli's abandoned Winchester Model 70 on the rooftop.

Grenade Launcher

Federal 201-Z Grenade Launcher

A uniformed NYPD lieutenant fires a Federal M201-Z at the mobsters.

Federal M201-Z - 37mm. Upgrade from the L-5, the M201Z has a secondary ladder sight behind the latch and the barrel is ringed for a sling swivel. The L-5 has a plain smooth barrel.
The lieutenant fires the 201-Z.

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