Dane. Designer.

Old Blog

Friedkin's Madness

Fridkin on the French Connection chase:

“[Stunt driver] Bill Hickman drove the car at 90 miles an hour,” Mr. Friedkin recalled. “I was in the back seat holding a camera over his shoulder, focused on the street ahead. There was a camera in the front seat looking out the window, and another one on the front bumper. The reason I handled the camera was because the camera operator and the director of photography both had families with children, and I didn’t.” [...]

“We took off, with Billy telling Bill Hickman, ‘Give it to me, come on, you can do it, show me!’ ” Mr. Jurgensen said in an interview. “We had a police siren on top that people could hear, so that those who were able to get out of the way, could.”

There were no permits and no planning — just sheer nerve. “After 26 blocks, from Bay 50th to Bay 24th Street, I ran out of film, but I knew I had enough,” Mr. Friedkin said. “The fact that we never hurt anybody in the chase run, the way it was poised for disaster, this was a gift from the Movie God. Everything happened on the fly. We would never do this again. Nor should it ever be attempted in that way again.” #

In case you missed it, the new 'signature' blu-ray release that came out late last year fixes the pastel madness of the previous blu-ray release.

Michael Heilemann