SORCERER
1977, Paramount, 122 min, Dir: William Friedkin

Friedkin’s most visually awesome film follows small-time crook Roy Scheider from Brooklyn to the sweltering South American jungles, where he lands a job hauling nitroglycerine with hard-luck losers Bruno Cremer and Francisco Rabal. Rather than simply remake Henri-Georges Clouzot’s famed WAGES OF FEAR, Friedkin re-imagined the story as a cosmic vision of man vs. nature, climaxing in the mind-bending image of Scheider and crew literally pushing a loaded truck across a spindly rope bridge.


TO LIVE & DIE IN L.A.
1985, Park Circus/MGM, 116 min, Dir: William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin's startling, exhilarating thriller stars William Petersen as a hot-shot federal agent out to bust ruthless counterfeiter Willem Dafoe (in a revelatory, tour-de-force performance). Along the way, they collide with John Turturro as a drug mule addicted to Pepto-Bismol and Dean Stockwell as Dafoe's morally ambivalent mouthpiece. As dynamic and unnerving as THE FRENCH CONNECTION a decade earlier, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. is Friedkin at his very best - a turbo-charged ride through an imploding, morally corrupt American landscape.


THE FRENCH CONNECTION
1971, 20th Century Fox, 104 min, Dir: William Friedkin

Arguably the greatest American crime film ever made. Gene Hackman stars as Detective Popeye Doyle, who’s muscling minor hoods in NYC (the "You ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?" scene is still a classic) when he catches the trail of a huge shipment of French heroin. With partner Roy Scheider, Hackman dogs drug-kingpin Fernando Rey through the concrete jungle - highlighted by a brain-jangling car chase that still hasn’t been topped.


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