Study Guide

The French Connection Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol

Popeye's love of whiskey and beer is a legal vice, while the drug addicts down the street are at constant risk of arrest. It doesn't seem like an accident on the filmmakers' part that everyone in The French Connection has some kind of substance-based weak-spot, whether it be pretty girls, fast cars, beer, cigarettes, or heroin.

The 1970s were the beginning of the War on Drugs in America, militarizing substance use and drug transportation as a matter of federal policy. Popeye and Cloudy are foot soldiers in this war, and believe that anything should be done in order to stop the stream of white powder coming in the U.S.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. Is Popeye an alcoholic? Is it worthwhile to diagnose this kind of thing, when it comes to fictional characters? What are the pluses and minuses?
  2. How would you describe the movie's evaluation of and relationship to drugs?
  3. What feels more dangerous in the film: drugs, or money? How come? Is there's something else that feels more foreboding?

Chew on This

In the French Connection world, it doesn't matter if you're hooked on drugs, alcohol, money or power: they all lead ultimately to failure or death.

The French Connection is an anti-drug movie because it shows us the consequences of trafficking heroin.

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