MovieChat Forums > French Connection II (1975) Discussion > GREATEST LAST FOUR SECONDS EVER???

GREATEST LAST FOUR SECONDS EVER???


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Does anyone else think that this could perhaps be the GREATEST last four seconds to any film? While there have been many great endings in films that are easily better than the ending in this film – the first French Connection comes to mind - , the last four seconds of this film are solid gold. For anyone who has seen the original F.C. the ending moments are especially rewarding. I remember when I first caught the last half of this on TV a few years ago, I kept thinking the same thing: “he’s going to give him the slip and get away…..AGAIN.” During the final chase I was so sure it was going to happen. Popeye is all tired and disoriented, barely able to keep going. The shots of the boat moving through the harbor and away from Doyle didn’t look promising. The eerie music did not help either. It all seemed so hopeless. It didn’t even look like he was getting anywhere close to the boat. I watched, grimly certain that if by some miracle he did catch up he would collapse from exhaustion or wouldn’t be able to shoot straight. WRONG. I couldn’t believe it. The brief glimpse of Charnier on the boat, as Doyle falls to his knees into shooting position. Calling out Charnier’s name out so he can turn round to see who it is that has caught him. BAM! …..and its over. Its like “GOTCHA BITCH” cue credits. There was nothing left to show. No need to. No need to see Doyle’s reaction…this was everything he had worked so hard for. And you KNOW those bullet holes on his upper chest meant his @$$ was grass.

I couldn’t believe it has the credits came out. It was one of the few moments in film where my jaw actually hit the ground. I sat watching the credits in disbelief. When they were over I started jumping up and down saying “HE GOT HIM! HE GOT HIM!” My roommate didn’t know what the hell I was on about. I guess he chalked it up as me having another fit. He hadn’t seen the first movie, which I again say makes it all the more powerful, watching him continually slipping from Doyle’s grasp. I think the best part about it was that Charnier was probably so sure he had made it again, confident and arrogant. You see the look of surprise and first, then shock as he is shot and then finally horror as he is beginning to fall groping helplessly. Never have so few seconds (I think it was four in all) meant so much to me as a viewer. Simply Brilliant. Amazing.

Too bad this film is nowhere near as great as it’s predecessor, not does it have Roy Scheider. Any thoughts?



P.S. does anyone else think that movie Primer is awful??

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It is a great last 4 seconds, the kind of last 4 seconds you'd only see on a mainstream film from the 70s. Can you imagine them trying anything like that now? It would still be great but it wouldn't get through the testing and marketing campaigns. Shame, it would be great to see a gritty film like this come out of hollywood these days.

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The first film ends rather abruptly too. The ambiguous gunshot and then the blackout to the stills of the bad guys. But yeah, great stuff in II, really underrated picture when you get right down to it. Another greatest last four seconds ever certainly has to be in The Taking Of Pelham 1,2,3 as well.....I won't mention what happens here for those that haven't seen it...the ones that have, know exactly what I am talking about....

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Definatly last 4 greatest seconds in any film... I loved the last chase scene expecially the POV of Doyle... I like the reddish-orange look they gave for far shots showing how exhausted Doyle was from running... And yeah I love the 'GOTCHA' feeling at the end. Great stuff

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The first film ends rather abruptly too. The ambiguous gunshot and then the blackout to the stills of the bad guys. But yeah, great stuff in II, really underrated picture when you get right down to it. Another greatest last four seconds ever certainly has to be in The Taking Of Pelham 1,2,3 as well.....I won't mention what happens here for those that haven't seen it...the ones that have, know exactly what I am talking about....


Yup it has one of the funniest ending ever. The look on walter mathau's face is priceless.

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I actually think Hackman's role was more challenging in this film as opposed to the first one. Not to take away from the first film, which is clearly superior. IMO Hackman did a hell of a job in his scenes that he overdosed, and then when he was going through withdraw. To me that had to be very difficult, and is not at all the typical portayal expected in a police drama. It provides a unique dimension to the role, and Hackman delivered this role brilliantly. To be honest the only thing that I didn't really like was the ending. It just seems that with all the build up you have, and all the tribulations Popeye goes through, Charnier deserved a much more painfull, more drawn out death. Although it would have been hard to do I suppose, I would have preffered watching Popeye beat the living hell out of Charnier, then killing him.

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I totally agree with jjamp48, the shock cut ending of the film is terrific. I saw it in the theatre when it premiered in the summer of 75. I was and still am a huge fan of william friedkin who directed the academy award winning original and was excited that another of my all time favorite directors , john frankenheimer , was doing the sequel. he had a tremendous challenge to try to live up the original and he came through in spades. i actually even slightly prefer the sequel to the original . they are both on my list of alltime 20 or 25 favorite films.
anyway , i can still remember walking out of the theatre blown away by the power of the abrupt shock cut ending. popeye could have just shot charnier, but he called out to him, so that the last thing charnier would ever see in his life was popeye bearing down on him from the dock with that snub nose 38. popeye fires twice, charnier collapses into the rigging of the yacht, and the screen suddenly goes black, with the next credit being "A FILM BY JOHN FRANKENHEIMER" , the master filmmaker who conceived and shot that sequence.
it was a sledgehammer ending to one of the films that epitomized 70's filmmaking, when there was still some craft, logic, and believability to action films. i've seen both films many times since on network television, vhs, dvd, and cable , including watching them back to back last night on bravo. they truly dont make em like that anymore.

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I agree, great ending. The movie was a little too long and dragged a little bit, but the ending chase almost made up for it. Great since of happiness, and closure, that Doyle finally got Frog One, it looked liked for a minute that he was going to get away again.

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I've never seen a better ending. I was alone when I watched it, and I found myself screaming aloud with joy.

"I watched a Rohmer film once. It was kinda like watching paint dry." -Night Moves

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One of the best endings of all time, without a doubt. And it owes its impact all to the first movie.

In FC, we're a bit startled to find out that Frog One gets away. I don't know if that had ever been done before in a movie within this genre. But the screenwriters of FCII took full advantage of this development when penning the ending to FCII. When I first watched it, I kept saying to myself, "He's going to get away again. . ." And I couldn't help but recall Hackman's dialogue during the withdrawal scenes about how Mickey Mantle (I think) was just so fast and that he (Hackman) just wasn't fast enough. I was certain I was in for another downbeat ending.

Awesome stuff. Surprising and totally satisfying ending. Bolstered by the quick cut to the credits. This movie was about one thing: Popeye's quest to bring Charnier down. As soon as he accomplished that task, the movie concluded right where it should have. No more exposition. No stupid epilogue showing Hackman saying goodbye to the French detective at the airport. Just a cop bringing down the bad guy. Awesome.

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/Charnier deserved a much more painfull, more drawn out death./
No, I feel surprise vs drawn-out pain was the best way to get him. Frog One was pretty smart and quick - like Mickey Mantle - but Popeye's phenomenal perseverence won in the end.

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne

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Agree, one of the best endings ever.

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D'accord.

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne

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/P.S. does anyone else think that movie Primer is awful??/
Main non, jjamp48. It is obvious you care a lot about this character.

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne

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I saw this movie only one time more than 30 years ago and I still remember the ending.

GREAT!!!!

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How about the music during the closing credits? It was downright soothing. Certainly more calm than the nerve-wracking, incomplete music during the closing of the first film.

"Two more swords and I'll be Queen of the Monkey People." Roseanne

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I first saw FC2 back in '98 and I just couldn't believe what I saw. When Popeye pointed his gun and shouted out Charnier's name, I thought he was going to tell him to stop the boat, or else he'd kill him. However, he shot him twice. End of story.

In recent times, as I've watched the film more, it's easier to understand why Popeye killed Frog One. The scumbag was a drug dealer, responsible for the misery and deaths of countless people and he'd also left Popeye for dead. So our hero certainly had the motive for his actions.

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