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"The French Connection" {Blu-ray-2012 Remaster}
Wayne Klein
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date:
Special Features:

Featurettes, two commentary tracks, trivia Rating: R


The 2012 remaster "Signature Collection" Blu-ray features a brand new transfer that hews closer to the original look of the film and was supervised by Cinematopgraher Owen Reizman with William Friedkin. The colors no longer bleed like they did with the oversatured (and, alternatively, sometimes monochromatic)transfer that Friedkin supervised for release in 2008. ***

The way to tell the difference between the 2008 and 2012 reissue is 1) the cover for the reissue features a close shot of Gene Hackman (and it states "Director's Signature Series" below Hackman's face)and it is a single disc release ommiting the 2nd disc (all of the extras are on the first disc with the exception of the BBC Documentary "The Poughskeepie Shuffle" and (naturally) the featurette on the new coloring timing. ---

Image & Sound:

Colors are quite nice here--far more natural and not as oversaturated as the Friedkin release and reflect what a pristine new restored print would look like. The transfer is clean of dirt, debris, etc. and although the image quality is soft at times, part of that has to do with the shooting choices, age of the film, etc. Skin textures, tones and detail look remarkably sharp considering the age of the film. ***

Audio features the same 5.1 HD DTS transfer as the previous Blu-ray, an English Surround, original mono, Spanish and French 5.1 mixes. I'm not sure at this stage if Fox is offering an exchange for fans who purchsed the 2008 Friedkin version with color timing changes for the single disc 2012. I've put an email question on this but have not heard back as of yet but will update this review if it turns out that they WILL offer it. ***

We get subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Russian and several Chinese dialects. ---

Special Features:

We get all of the original special features ported over from the 2008 version except for the two previously mentioned ("The Poughskeepie Shuffle" and the featurette on the color timing). New to this edition we get a booklet that discusses the making of the movie and the actors.

Final Words:

I'd recommend the remaster although I would have liked to see Fox include the BBC documentary as well. Still, this corrects the problem with the previously mastered edition that many fans were unhappy with where Friedkin (without consulting his original DP) messed with the color timing resulting in an often unsatisfying version of the film on Blu-ray.


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