The French Connection
Best Thriller Movies
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Mark Gill

Producer

The movie that made the earliest impression on me was one I was far too young to see, and that was The Godfather. Since then, and throughout my career, I find I gravitate toward thrillers. Paying homage to this genre was part of the inspiration behind creating Solstice Studios.

1

The Conformist

1970

WHERE TO WATCH

In terms of films that I’ve liked over the years, a lot of them have intrigue or thriller written on them. I have to say, my favorite movie is The Conformist, the Bertolucci film. But equally, or right next to it, would be The French Connection.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Conformist
1970
115 Mins | R
An Italian aristocrat (Jean-Louis Trintignant) with sexual hang-ups blindly follows Fascist orders.


2

The French Connection

1971

WHERE TO WATCH

I’ve always loved The French Connection and want to make something that would be an homage to that. It’s really high-octane, if you will, but also the development of character was really strong. And if I recall correctly, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. [It did, along with Actor, Directing, Editing and Adapted Screenplay Oscars.]

WHERE TO WATCH
The French Connection
1971
104 Mins | R
New York detectives (Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider) chase a French heroin king (Fernando Rey).


3

Rear Window

1954

WHERE TO WATCH

If you don’t pick a Hitchcock movie and you like thrillers, you need to be fired. They’re all amazing, of course, but I found there was something haunting about Rear Window and I couldn’t get it out of my head.

WHERE TO WATCH
Rear Window
1954
112 Mins | PG
A photographer (James Stewart) in a wheelchair spies on neighbors and sees a murder.


4

No Country for Old Men

2007

WHERE TO WATCH

It’s probably mostly about [star] Javier Bardem. That’s just the most amazingly complex, odd, one-of-a-kind character you can ever imagine. I thought he was extraordinary.

WHERE TO WATCH
No Country for Old Men
2007
122 Mins | R
A hunter (Josh Brolin) becomes the hunted after taking money from the scene of a drug deal gone bad.


5

The English Patient

1996

WHERE TO WATCH

The director, Anthony Minghella, was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I thought he created something that was both lyrical and powerful, and boy, that’s hard to do. One or the other, sure, but for me it captured both. I just thought it was extraordinarily beautiful cinema that was mind-blowing. Having been along for the ride—running the marketing of it and getting to work with them was such a privilege—and having it go all the way through to winning Best Picture was quite something.

WHERE TO WATCH
The English Patient
1996
162 Mins | R
Count's (Ralph Fiennes) fling with a British newlywed leads to tragedy.


6

The Godfather

1972

WHERE TO WATCH

I have to go back to the movie that inspired me to watch movies, and that I was far too young to be seeing: The Godfather. I don’t know what my parents were thinking, but I’m glad they did it. It was admittedly right up to the edge of what I could handle at 10 years old, but I got through it and I thought it was inspirational.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Godfather
1972
177 Mins | R
Mafia boss Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his sons (Al Pacino, James Caan).


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