Top Ten 1971


Gene Hackman really did have the role of a lifetime when he played Popeye Doyle in William Friedkin’s Oscar-winning The French Connection. Not quite the robust hero, he is angry and complicated, with a fully loaded temper that is part of what makes the film such a manic good time. While it is a film with very little flourish, purely driven by its need to capture its villain, Hackman’s performance matches with a portrayal of a human being that shows none of the work being done: there are no layers of complicated character depth, simply a man and his job. The fact that he makes it look that easy is a tribute to his terrific work.

Honour Roll:…

There are no films in this list released in the 2020s.