Study Guide

The French Connection Scene 16

Scene 16

Scene 16

  • Popeye, Cloudy and Mulderig are driving down the street—the two partners in front, the Fed in back. Mulderig is giving them a hard time, saying that the case is "small potatoes." Doyle seems upset, but is keeping cool and focused as Cloudy defends him. They're following Sal, who's on his way to the hotel.
  • There's a traffic jam on the Brooklyn Bridge, and the cops' car gets stuck while Sal takes an off-ramp. Popeye jumps out to see where the car has gone, but doesn't seem him, and runs back to the car.
  • Cloudy's on the CB radio, telling Klein that they've lost Sal.
  • The scene cuts to Klein, keeping watch, spotting Sal's car. He tells Cloudy on the radio that he's got eyes on him, and makes pursuit.
  • Sal emerges from a garage and walks down a Manhattan block, while Klein tries to act cool in a vestibule. Sal seems to notice him, so Klein walks the other way.
  • Once Sal starts to walk, Popeye pops out of doorway and begins to tail him. Mulderig is across the street, while Cloudy's a block up.
  • Sal stops in front of a perfume store, and spots Popeye, who pretends he isn't following him. Popeye is forced to back off, and Cloudy runs after him instead.
  • Cloudy runs into a hotel and straight into Charnier, who's leaving, then turns around and follows him out. Charnier and Sal meet in front of the taxi stand and shake hands.
  • Charnier and Nicoli walk into a market, while Popeye loiters out front.
  • From inside the market, through the window, we see Popeye trying to get a look.
  • Charnier and Nicoli leave, and walk past Popeye.
  • Cloudy continues to tail the Frenchmen as they enter a restaurant.
  • Inside, Charnier and Nicoli have wine and soup, as Popeye and Cloudy wait outside in the cold.
  • We get a view inside the restaurant, Charnier and Nicoli being served prime rib off the bone. They're talking, but we can't hear them.
  • Outside, a very chilly Popeye is trying to stay warm. Cloudy brings him a slice of pizza and some coffee. "Do you want the red or the white?" Cloudy jokes.
  • Inside, a dessert cart is rolling up to Charnier and Nicoli's table. Nicoli chooses a fruit tart as the camera zooms from the restaurant, through its window and across the street to a shivering Popeye. He sips his coffee and then makes a face, pouring it out.
  • When the camera focuses back into the restaurant, the Frenchmen are having coffee, and Charnier is enjoying a cigarette.
  • It's dark by the time the Frenchmen leave the restaurant, and Popeye and Cloudy confer briefly as Charnier goes back into his hotel and gets on the elevator.
  • Once he's gone, Popeye comes in and watches the elevator go up. It stops on the sixth floor. He walks over to the front desk and asks the concierge for Charnier's name.
  • It's now fully dark, and Popeye paces back and forth across the street from the hotel.
  • A car screeches up and Popeye gets in. It's Cloudy and Mulderig, with a bottle of booze for Popeye, who tells them that he's pretty sure Charnier is the "frog" (an offensive term for a French person) and that he's pretty sure the guy knows he's being tailed.
  • Cloudy and Mulderig (who's driving) tell Popeye that Nicoli is also French, and is staying at a hotel, where he's hosting a prostitute.
  • He's being watched by Klein.
  • They say Sal's gone to bed for the night, and Popeye should too, but Popeye says it's his case and he wants to stay on it.
  • Mulderig pulls his usual game of trying to antagonize Popeye with his past failures, and the two begin to fight. Cloudy tells his partner to calm down and get some sleep.

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