Popeye Doyle isn't real. Neither is that epic chase scene, where Doyle careens his car through the streets of Brooklyn, tailing a hit man on the B Train. But the story behind the movie is real -- the film is based on "The French Connection: A True Account of Cops, Narcotics, and International Conspiracy"
by Robin Moore. Cops "Popeye" Doyle and Buddy "Cloudy" Russo were based on Narcotics Detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, while the crooks in the film also had real-life counterparts.