Amazon today is adding 49 new movies to its Prime streaming lineup, including one film that turned a supporting actor into a star.
The new films include The French Connection, the 1971 film which is one of the most realistic police dramas in cinematic history. Directed with a tight hand by William Friedkin (The Exorcist), the film fearlessly shows its lead detective, Detective Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle (Gene Hackman), as both hero and anti-hero. You root for Doyle, but you also cringe when he resorts to illegal and sometimes cruel tactics in his relentless search of a French drug kingpin (Fernando Rey).
Hackman’s ‘everyman’ persona makes the movie. You can identify with him because he’s not a movie star. He looks like a guy who just might be a undercover detective in New York. At the time, Hackman had appeared in 17 movies, and even captured two Academy Award nominations for best supporting actor (Bonnie and Clyde and I Never Sang For My Father). But he had never been the lead in a movie of this size and importance. To many people watching The French Connection for the first time in 1971, he was a total unknown, which allowed them to be easily sucked into the story and suspense.
To learn more about how Hackman almost didn’t get the role, click here.
Also notable today coming to Amazon Prime: Almost Famous, the 2000 comedy/drama from director Cameron Crowe starring Patrick Fugit as a teen rock critic in the 1970s who learns life’s lessons while touring with an iconic band and their groupies, led sweetly by a young Kate Hudson.
Here is the complete list of new movies coming today to Amazon Prime:
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Alien 3 (1992)
Almost Famous (2000)
Angels & Demons (2009)
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)
Dinosaur 13 (2014)
Georgia Rule (2018)
Green Zone (2010)
Gunsight Ridge (1957)
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
Jumping the Broom (2011)
Nanny Mcphee (2006)
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)
One Fine Day (1996)
Reign of Fire (2002)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Resident Evil (2002)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
The Age of Adaline (2015)
The Dalton Girls (1957)
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
The French Connection (1971)
The Green Hornet (2011)
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)
The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
The Ladykillers (2004)
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
The Outsider (1980)
The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sweetest Thing (2002)
The Towering Inferno (1974)
Two for the Money (2005)
Vantage Point (2008)
Featured image: Gene Hackman in The French Connection.