The two real life cops portrayed in the film, Egan and Grosso, used their clout (I would guess, Tammany Hall-inspired) as honored detectives to secure dubious and flimsy filming permits, especially for the famous car chase scene.
Several minor yet actual car crashes occurred as a result of the loosely coordinated takes along 86th Street, New Utrecht Avenue, and Stillwell Avenue ( the outer edges of my childhood neighborhood). These real life crashes were included in the final film for your viewing enjoyment. Speed and distance (from where the chase begins to its climax) is a camera trick; such purling aspects are nonexistent when actually driving in that area…whether or not you’re Popeye Doyle.
- Great Character: Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (“The French Connection”) (gointothestory.blcklst.com)