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The French Connection Gets a New Blu-ray Release, New Master

Posted March 7, 2012 11:00 PM by Webmaster

20th Century FoxBlu-ray.com has been informed that 20th Century Fox Entertainment has issued a new Blu-ray release of director William Friedkin's 5 Oscars winner film, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, The French Connection (1971), which is currently sold exclusively at Best Buy stores across the U.S. Blu-ray.com has also been able to confirm that the new release features a brand new high-definition transfer struck from a new master supervised by director William Friedkin and cinematographer Owen Roizman.

We will have a detailed review of the new Blu-ray release shortly. Stay tuned!






New Release




Previous Release





Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (63 comments)



Top contributor
Happy_Evil_Dude
  Mar 08, 2012
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I seem to recall an interview with William Friedkin when the first version came out where he said that he'd personally supervised the blu-ray and that it was the best the film had ever looked?

Marienbad
  Mar 08, 2012
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I'm happy to see this get a new transfer, it really needs it. They should even have an exchange program for people who got that first director approved release where they let Friedkin play around with the transfer way too much

BluPix
  Mar 08, 2012
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This is potentially good news, as the picture quality of the existing blu-ray of The French Connection is far from ideal. It's too bright, too washed out, too lacking in detail and too waxy, with colors that are unnatural and overly-punchy. It also has persistent bleeding and haloing, especially where reds are concerned. In short, colorwise it looks nothing like the dark, realistic and gritty film most fans had come to love.

Yes, Friedkin had supervised the previous blu-ray release but the end result was definitely not the best the film ever looked. As I understand it, cinematographer Owen Roizman had been excluded from involvement with the previous blu-ray.

Here's hoping for a substantial improvement. Perhaps a few more extras will be included, too.

retablo
  Mar 08, 2012
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It IS a substantial improvement. Extras are the same (except for the Color Timing featurette, and a BBC Doc), even teh menus are the same. But the disc finally looks glorious.

ravenus
  Mar 08, 2012
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This is great news. I'll be looking forward to the review. FC is not one of my fav crime thrillers but it has some terrific bits and I love old-skool.

ElliesDad
  Mar 08, 2012
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This is good news. But I've never understood the economics of an exclusive release vis a vis a general release. It's not as if Best Buy or any of the other retailers seem to give their exclusives much in the way of advertising and promotion. How does this benefit the distributor economically? Anyone?

Top contributor
Dellamorte13
  Mar 08, 2012
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Shut_it_down_slore!

Top reviewer
Dickieduvet
  Mar 08, 2012
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They should offer an exchange programe as the 1st release looks like a pastelist's nightmare!

Scholer
  Mar 08, 2012
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Now for a newly issued 8k Remaster of Patton.
Deke Rivers
  Mar 08, 2012
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great news..a little more info here...http://www.examiner.com/film-in-pittsburgh/addendum-to-march-6th-blu-ray-releases-new-wall-street-french-connection-bds

Arkadin
  Mar 08, 2012
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great news ever IF the new bd looks like the actual original film.
I'll be back at BB today I know that.
TheMantaBluRay
  Mar 08, 2012
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Sounds awesome! French Connection desperately deserved an ideal transfer.

Top reviewer
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paper tiger
  Mar 08, 2012
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I'm sold! Just bought on BestBuy.com!

Can't wait to watch it. I was so very disappointed by the first Blu transfer, this new one looks promising.

It looks like there is a new HD transfer of Wall Street too!

Sky_Captain85
  Mar 08, 2012
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Willing to buy a copy if anyone has one.
felixemartinez
  Mar 08, 2012
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So are the BBC and color timing docus the only things dropped from this re-release?

spf781
  Mar 08, 2012
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And to think Friedkin signed my copy at a screening of "Sorcerer" and claimed it was the best it ever looked.

Oy vey.

SpartanIre
  Mar 08, 2012
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"When's the last time you picked your feet, Willy? Who's your connection, Willy? What's his name? I got a man in Poughkeepsie who wants to talk to you. You ever been to Poughkeepsie?"

JackTwist
  Mar 08, 2012
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They also have the original "Wall Street". Took a quick peek and it is far improved from the original. Now it is worth a purchase, easily besting the far too soft DVD.

Bought the first blu-ray of "The French Connection" despite the bad reviews. Couldn't finish watching it because of how bad it looked, and I like film grain. Hopefully now, I'll be able to enjoy it more.

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paper tiger
  Mar 08, 2012
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Keep in mind this is FOX. Remember what they did to Predator Blu-ray re-release?

dwane5
  Mar 08, 2012
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that slip picture needs some goo gone. lol

someonesinthewolf
  Mar 08, 2012
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Can anyone confirm if it is just the film or has all the same extras?

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paper tiger
  Mar 08, 2012
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"Can anyone confirm if it is just the film or has all the same extras? "


http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-French-Connection-Blu-ray/39973/


If you click the link above to go to the new French Connection Blu-ray page on Blu-ray.com, you will see some more info, and also under the picture of the cover click BACK and you can see the back cover which have all the special features listed.

From what I understand, it is only the movie which has the new transfer, not the special features.

GregBlu5
  Mar 08, 2012
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I am not sure I would refer to this as a "cult film"? This won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1971. (I still am disappointed that it wasn't The Last Picture Show instead.)
peterraes
  Mar 08, 2012
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wth is going on Mr Friedkin...?
you gave us a" decolorized" version on blu just a while back while that was the way you always wanted it to look,sort of more "documentary"...(even explaining it in the docu!!!)
a outcry was the following over the net...fans hated it(including me)for ruining the original ..as in original how it looked before...wich was allready decolorized...but was about right for the supposed look.
now when i look at the pic above......this is gonna have to be some re-master to have me buying again....in a crisis time like we are in now it 's not obvious people will double dip.....and i personally hate double dipping......

Philly Q
  Mar 08, 2012
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Good news, if they get it right. The last version was rubbish. I got half way through, took it out and watched the DVD instead.

Darth Marcus
  Mar 08, 2012
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Hopefully justice has been done to this wonderful movie. There are a few titles I wish Fox would revisit. Just to name a few:
Master & Commander
Predator (again)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Patton
The Die Hard films (I still would like to own the unrated version of Live Free or Die Hard on blu)

HDvision
  Mar 08, 2012
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Looks guys, if you are shocked why Friedkin said then it was the best it ever looked, and did an about face... you don't know nothing about this business!
peterraes
  Mar 08, 2012
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HDvision...we know about the "business",but...we ALL hate double dipping,especially in a crisis time like we are in now!
btw...he should have just left the original alone in the first place...just do a new transfer,removing dirt,scratches etc...sigh....i blame George Lucas for other director's start doing "new" stuff to their movies to "improve" the original release...its bad enough Lucas ruined his own legacy....
DVD Phreak
  Mar 08, 2012
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Just placed an order. Best Buy currently has free shipping for this item.

NeoMaximuz
  Mar 08, 2012
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Awesome! I've been holding off on the original release due to the picture issue.

moviecriticsonline
  Mar 08, 2012
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Looks like a great print. I'm on board for this new Best Buy release.

BluOrbit
  Mar 08, 2012
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Just watched it - I can't imagine it looking any better. I never saw the original BD so I can't compare, but the color timing looks perfect and I couldn't detect any digital manipulation. This one should get at LEAST a 4 (and is probably deserving of a 4-1/2 or maybe 5) rating for PQ - except, of course, if that clown Nate Boss from HDD reviews it...then it'll be 3-1/2 tops as usual.

someonesinthewolf
  Mar 08, 2012
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Thank you, paper tiger.

I just wanted to know if the SF were included, which they are.

threefiftyrocket
  Mar 08, 2012
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so peterraes, you complain about the original blu transfer but then complain that he is doing something about it and re-releasing it with a new master? Yeah, maybe bit of a crappy double dip but at least he's fixing it... unlike Mr. Lucas...

Doctorossi
  Mar 08, 2012
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All over this!

Top reviewer
Sopranogl
  Mar 08, 2012
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I liked the look of the first Blu-ray.... Is William F. just fickle-minded?! Which one is the "approved" version now?!

They just want our money -- my money!

retablo
  Mar 08, 2012
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Why are people talking about "IF" they get it right and "remember, it's FOX"... I had the disc in hand yesterday, watched it, confirmed it along with several other pople... there's no "IF"s and "Maybes" when it's 100% confirmable that the job was done right.

Not to mention the DP worked on the transfer. It's now correct and looks as it always should've.

Tom Servo
  Mar 08, 2012
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Great, I'm glad I haven't bought this one yet.
peterraes
  Mar 08, 2012
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threefiftyrocket...yeah,at least he is correcting the appaling previous blu,wich is a good thing,granted..i'm just upset about a double dip and more upset about the fact a director these days just changes things.."why fix if it ain't broken"i say...
and as for Mr Lucas...not giving us the original trilogy unaltered...in short....i have NOT and will not buy the saga box set cause of it...and believe me,i am a fan but cannot live with the butchered versions,i rather upscale my non anamorphic unaltered dvd's then buy such a appaling blu set!
peterraes
  Mar 08, 2012
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sopranogl....the original theatricall was desaturated,and so it appeared on the previous home releases,for the first blu release friedkin didnt feel it was't desatured enough,wanting more the docu..look and toned if down even more untill virtually all color was gone,hence the fans outcry on the web....it does seem now that he saw his mistake and re-did it again putting back some color...for the latest BB exclusive...and according to "retablo" it should now we back in good shape thank goodness.

spawningblue
  Mar 08, 2012
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Too bad the 53 min. BBC doc. was left off. Makes no sense why it's not here this time around.

retablo
  Mar 08, 2012
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spawningblue - it's a 1 disc release now instead of 2. Something had to be left off, and with 2 hour-long docs basically covering the same information, it makes perfect sense why one would be dropped.

spawningblue
  Mar 08, 2012
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I don't know why they didn't just replace the first disc and keep it a 2 disc set. Guess you have to own both discs to have everything.

billzfan
  Mar 08, 2012
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I just ordered. I'm thrilled they decided to do a new transfer.

Shagadelic
  Mar 08, 2012
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Despite BB track record with me this year, $old.

mjcavinder
  Mar 08, 2012
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I almost bought the old edition...

MartinL
  Mar 08, 2012
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The initial blu ray release was a disaster and to my regret I had given away my DVD version. The washed out look as Friedkin suppposedly had envisioned was never the version envision by Cinematographer Owen Roizman.

Top reviewer
Danielle Ni Dhighe
  Mar 08, 2012
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Best Buy ruins slipcovers with their price stickers.

HuggyBear73
  Mar 08, 2012
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This came out of left field, didn't it? Just bought French Connection and Wall Street from BestBuy.com. Two titles that definitely needed an upgrade. Like someone said above, Fox needs to give us new Patton, Die Hard, Butch Cassidy and Predator upgrades.

earmullet
  Mar 08, 2012
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Great Friedkin totally destroyed the initial blu ray release by washing it out in post. Now I guess he's changed his mind and wants us to buy this version. Hey Friedkin try finding some work.
discking
  Mar 08, 2012
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Despite all the teeth gnashing, hysteric hair tearing and know it all hissy fits from people who have never seen the film except on video, I can tell you, having seen the film when it was new and in theaters for the first time, and having seen it several times then, I liked it so much, that the original BD disc that everyone was so upset about really did look just like the film looked way back when, when it was new, and I absolutely believe Friedkin that it is the best version available of what he intended. It may not be the version that best suits modern younger tastes. But it really recreated the feel of the film for me.
Logic
  Mar 09, 2012
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The problem with the orginal Friedkin The French Connection blu ray release is that there are too many youngsters out there who never saw the movie on the big screen when it was orginally release mouthing off that Friedkin screwed it up.

Hey Kiddies, I was there when it was relased in the theaters and saw it 3 or four times and guess what? The blu ray version that you are bitching about is how it's supposed to look. It is not a video game or Pixar cartoon, it is a gritty, no nonsense in your face move that looks exactly the way we all saw it. Now, you little kiddies go ahead and buy your pumped up color version that was just released to satisfy your cartoon generation and we older more mature movie fans who remember what it looked like in the theaters will stick to the way it actuall looked.

And guess what else, The Godfather Blu Ray that you bitch about is also the way it looked when it was released.
jerrytk
  Mar 09, 2012
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Can some one explain to me how a brand new high-definition transfer struck from a new master can be achieved for 40 year old film? Do they mean a restored or remastered master copy taken from the original negative. Otherwise I cannot see why you would digitally restore the print only to then produce a new print physically and then take a new tranfer from this new print.

I am obviously missing something!

Top reviewer
Sopranogl
  Mar 09, 2012
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At peterraes:

You're preaching to the choir, my friend...I've watched this "film" many times on DVD and Blu-ray...now I'm gonna fork over some money for the new version. Both versions look great. W.F. is a master -- now where's "The Hunted"?

threefiftyrocket
  Mar 09, 2012
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@ peterraes I see I see, I'd be a little irritated too, however this is not a movie that I will have to double dip on. I have both this and FCII but seing as I've only watched the blu once since I bought it, no need to double dip for me. I am in the same boat as you with Lucas tho, I refuse to buy the big box until I get what I want with them. Have them all on DVD and I'm fine with that until he makes the UOT available... which will be Never, I know.

BluOrbit
  Mar 09, 2012
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I saw The French Connection several times when it was originally released in the theater too...and I applaud Logic for his amazing memory, because most mortals don't have a complete recollection of exactly how a movie looked on the screen over 40 years ago.

If the original BD was EXACTLY the way it was SUPPOSED to look, why is that Friedkin's DP completely disowned that version and wanted nothing to do with it? Let me guess: he forgot what it was SUPPOSED to look like too!
ilovenola2
  Mar 09, 2012
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Aside from all the carrying-on over the two versions, has anyone else had a problem finding the newest release at Best Buy? No store in the New Orleans area has it. And it's not available through BB on line.
mrzero27
  Mar 09, 2012
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I love Friedkin's de-colored version. It fits the mood, time, and sound. I was really absorbed by it. I'll check out the new remaster - but that green, green grass doesn't seem to fit in that time or place for me.
steveo151500
  Mar 10, 2012
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I'm really torn between the two because I actually liked the look of the color timed version. However, I'm truly happy that this was restored to its original look. For me both versions can co exist on my shelf.

Top reviewer
gvortex7
  Mar 11, 2012
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I just popped in my original BD release of the French Connection, and I must admit that I have more problem with the constant picture noise in it than the colors themselves. I think they look fine. So, I probably won't fork over more money just to see more vibrant colors for this film. The first version does represent the grittiness of the story quite well, like some others have already stated it here.

fdm
  Mar 11, 2012
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I figure if I haven't watched to first blu yet, probably going to be quite a while before I'm ready for the remastered one. Watched the dvd set when it came out a decade ago...

Recall the Gene Hackman commentary was one of the dullest things I ever listened to (or started to listen to anyway), part of the reason why I'm much more inclined to skip a commentary just about always.

Oblivion138
  Mar 11, 2012
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mrzero27 - The film was intended to have a "documentary" look in 1971. Which means shooting mostly in natural and available light. Which generally yields natural colors. Vivid green grass, when filmed in natural sunlight, appears vividly green.

bobnims
  Mar 12, 2012
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I have been checking the Bestbuy website and their stores, but I have yet to find this disc. The website only lists the 2009 release.


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