Study Guide

The French Connection Captain Walter Simonson (Eddie Egan)

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Captain Walter Simonson (Eddie Egan)

The Real Popeye

Captain Simonson, with his ruddy face and cherubic curls, looks a bit like an angry cartoon angel as he tries to control the completely uncontrollable Popeye. Played by IRL Popeye, Eddie Egan is playing a fictionalized version of his own captain.

Taking Himself to Task

Stern talking to after stern talking to, Simonson tries to make Popeye understand that he can't just go around doing what he wants without firm evidence and significant arrests. Think of him as a more powerful Cloudy: he's trying to constrain Popeye for his own good:

SIMONSON: Your hunches have backfired before, or have you forgotten that already?

But Simonson also has his own priorities: Popeye and Cloudy may lead the precinct in drug arrests, but they're mostly nickel-and-dime cases: a joint in a bellhop's sock, or a student with an eensy-weensy bag of coke:

SIMONSON: No collars are comin' in while you two guys are runnin' around town, jerkin' off.

Simonson needs to show the higher-ups that his squad is affecting real change, and maybe that's part of the reason he sets up Popeye with wire taps and warrants to begin with: his hunches have paid off before, and perhaps they'll pay off again.

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