The French Connection ★★★

Boy, NYC was sure gritty in the 1970s. All those tough method-acting dramas paved the way for the Spielbergs and Lucases to come along and brighten it all up. Here, a tough-ass Gene Hackman, wearing a porkpie hat which is still cool decades later, goes after a suave Fernando Rey in an international heroin smuggling operation. You can almost taste the dirt on the streets.