Two hardbit New York cops, Popeye(Gene Hackman) & Buddy(Roy Scheider) trace a coterie of hoods to track a shipment of grade A poison from the Marseilles labs. Fernando Rey plays the suave Frenchman who’s kingpin of it all. The chase is great, white knuckle thrill. Hackman has a mouthful of character and a striking hat. The movie sets the tone well with a stairwell gangland assassination in Marseilles. The gunman steps over the sap’s dead body, picks up his baguette, pulls off the end and stuffs it in his mouth as he walks away and throws the rest of the stick onto his victim’s body.