Study Guide

The French Connection Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol

POPEYE: Stand up there, Noddy.

Like the many other casual nicknames Popeye uses, "Noddy" is being used as a tool of power. Why does it seem to work?

POPEYE: We're gonna keep coming back until we clean this bar up. What is this, a hospital here?

The syringes Popeye is picking up here represent something more dangerous than bullets when it comes to being a cop. (Even before AIDS, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases were an issue.)

UNDERCOVER COP: There's been talk there's going to be a shipment—everybody's gonna get well.

It's totally interesting that in street slang, "getting well" means "having access to heroin so as not to suffer the symptoms of withdrawal."

SIMONSON: You're wasting your time; this guy is selling nickel and dime bags.

DOYLE: I wouldn't be infringing on your coffee breaks, Simonson, if I thought this guy was a nickel-and-dimer.

We do wonder why Popeye is so interested in turning out the pockets of every dude in Brooklyn, if his Captain doesn't care about minor drug arrests.

CHEMIST: Blast off, 1-8-0... 200, Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. 210, U.S. government certified. 220, lunar trajectory. Junk of the Month Club sirloin steak. 230. Grade "A" Poison. Absolute dynamite.

Between this "lunar trajectory" and that nightclub scene where the Three Degrees sing "Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon," this movie is straight up obsessed with the moon. Makes sense, though. The first manned lunar landing was in 1969, around the time this movie was set.

CHEMIST: 89% pure dope. Best I've ever seen. If the rest is like this, you'll be dealing on this load for two years.

It's super interesting to think about how a single deal can affect a city for as long as two years, and all of the people, from drug dealers to addicts to law enforcement, whose lives would change as a result, in big and small ways.

DOYLE: I make a least two junk connections at that table there in the far corner.

What does a "junk connection" look like again?

CLOUDY: Man if that's not a drop or a pickup I'll open you up a charge at Bloomingdale's.

POPEYE: Make it Alexander's. I like the toy department.

FWIW, this is one of the few Cloudy/Popeye exchanges that made it unchanged from script to scene.

CLOUDY: We got the message there's not s*** on the street. It's like a goddamn desert full of junkies out there.

A desert full of junkies is way worse than a normal desert… because junkies get antsy when they're out of drugs.

POPEYE: This little candy store guy, he's putting on a big show in a fancy nightclub with known narcotic connections.

It's totally hard not to get distracted by the fact that Sal & Angie's is this diner-slash-newsstand that Popeye keeps referring to as a "candy store." What gives, dude?