Say anything you want about Popeye's social manners, his personal hygiene, even his own adherence to law. Just don't say he gives up easily.

He's a dog with a bone when it comes to making The French Connection's case against the mobsters and the French orchestrator. For months, he and his fellow detectives spend all night and all day eating bad food and drinking terrible coffee, shivering on street corners, and risking life and limb… just for a chance to nail those criminals.

Popeye ignores his partner, ignores his captain, and ignores his own sense of self-preservation, all in the name of one really strong hunch.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Captain Simonson tells Popeye that's he's got to stop making tiny arrests on small amounts of drugs. Is this a matter of priorities, or a motivational tactic?
  2. Popeye consents to drop the case, when Captain Simonson yells at him to do so—it's been two months, and they haven't found anything. Of course, Nicoli takes aim and all bets are off. Had that not happened, how might Popeye have continued? Was the assassination attempt a necessity?
  3. What's the relationship between perseverance and ethics in Popeye's New York?
  4. Who demonstrates more perseverance in this film, Popeye or Charnier? Trace their actions toward their separate goals in order to prove it.

Chew on This

According to The French Connection, perseverance is valued above caution: it's important to do whatever it takes in order to succeed.

Sal Boca is new to bigger criminal acts and hasn't failed as much, so it's hard for him to understand the value of perseverance.

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