William Friedkin: Critics Savaged “Sorcerer,” but I Love it a Lot”

In episode two of Sachs and the Cinema, recorded on my trusty cassette recorder in 1985, I talk to “Exorcist” and “French Connection” director William Friedkin, who returned to his hometown of Chicago in the hopes of getting back on the winning commercial track after a few box office failures with “To Live and Die in L.A.”

Starring Windy City actor William Petersen as Secret Service Agent Richard Chance, the film was a kind of West Coast sequel to “French Connection” with its breathtaking chase scenes and obsessed protagonist.

“The whole film is really about counterfeiting, counterfeit relationships, things not being what they seem,” says Friedkin. “There’s a thin line between policeman and criminal, which is really what fascinates me as a theme. Every cop I’ve ever met who’s any good is very close to criminal…To pass undercover, you have to think like a criminal.”

Always a straight-talker, Friedkin openly discusses his hits and misses and his years in L.A., and why “Sorcerer” is his best film. Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts and subscribe HERE.

A reboot of my long-running feature on Chicago radio, Sachs and the Cinema presents rare, never- before-heard chats from the 1980s with great film directors. The podcast debuted with “Halloween” maestro John Carpenter. Next up: Terry Gilliam!

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