Pick of the Day

THERE HAVE been few finer screen cops than Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (10pm Sky Cinema), the creation which won Gene Hackman a Best Actor Oscar in 1971. Done up in his trademark porkpie hat and raincoat, he shines in William Friedkin's verite-style film about Doyle's stubborn true-life efforts to smash a drugs ring, ably assisted by his partner, Roy Scheider (right). Watch for the stunning - and often replicated - car-chase sequence in which Doyle pursues an overhead Subway train. This is followed by The French Connection II (11.45pm), a rare example of an equally impressive sequel. In this tough thriller, directed by John Frankenheimer, Doyle pursues a Mr Big (Fernando Rey) to Marseilles. Here, in a memorable scene, he is forced to undergo cold turkey after being hooked on drugs by the villains.

James Rampton