The Academy Awards and why The French Connection’s Real-life Detective Watched the 1972 Oscars Alone at Home

The French Connection winners (D’Antoni, Hackman, Friedkin) with Jane Fonda
NYPD Detectives Grosso and Egan bringing real-life to the reel screen

“In 1961, the papers had headlines like — ‘$32,000,000 Cache of Dope Seized in New York.’ While ‘we’ were highlighted, without the tireless work of so many others, this case would never have been made. It was the first time the drugs, the customers, the connection and the money all came together on the streets of New York. The papers and the TV played the hell out of this case. But it wasn’t easy pulling it off. Then, a few years later things happened that turned the ‘real’ events of this case into ‘reel’ events, beginning with the book written by Robin Moore along with us two detectives.”

Det. Grosso offers technical advice to Hackman on French Connection set

“Quite simply, I was scared shitless of flying. But after days of Egan getting on my case, Eddie finally talked me into going to Jamaica to write the book with Robin. So, I get all packed, I get to the airport — in those days, you went to the plane by walking on the tarmac — and we climb up the stairs, get on the plane. The stewardess goes through the adjust-your-seatbelts, safety instructions and everything. But before they can close the door, I panicked. I got up and ran up the aisle, ran down the stairs, and raced back across the tarmac like my ass was on fire. Somehow, they got me back onto the plane on another day, but that’s another story. But as for why flying scares me, I still don’t get it.”

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Ashley Jude Collie

Ashley Jude Collie

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.