These movie cops are inspired by real cops!

From Frank Bullitt to Maigret, through Vincent Hanna in “Heat” or even Inspector Harry, these movie cops have one thing in common: they are inspired, at least in part, by real cops!

Frank Bullitt, Frank Serpico, Jules Maigret, Vincent Hannah, Harry Callahan and others… Names that clearly resonate with moviegoers (and seriphiles for Maigret!). All the headliners obviously have in common that they are movie cops.

If Serpico doesn’t bother with any detours, as Lumet’s film takes the name of a man who led an uphill battle against pervasive police corruption, many probably don’t know that Al Pacino’s Michael Mann-starring character is inspired by a real-life cop!

Steve McQueen aka Frank Bullitt

Warner Brazzers.

Directed by Peter Yates and released in 1968, Bullitt is a great classic of American cinema, best known for its incredible car chase through the streets of San Francisco. Steve McQueen played Lieutenant Frank Bullitt, in charge of security a gangster whose testimony is crucial in a politician’s trial. His character as a rebellious cop is inspired by the personality of Inspector David Tosca in charge of the Zodiac case. The actor also requested that he have the same suits, holsters and firearms as this one.

Gerard Depardieu aka Jules Maigret.


An absolute icon of detective fiction, Commissioner Maigret is a fictional and popular character in Georges Simenon’s 1930 novels of the same name. A world famous character, his adventures have been adapted to four corners of the globe, even Japan! The figure is so popular that it ended up destroying its authentic original model, even if Simenon was very loosely inspired by it. This is Marcel Guillaume (1872-1963), commissar of the division on the Orfevre Quai, he led the famous criminal gang from 1930 until his resignation in 1937. But he also distinguished himself in major past criminal cases. gang; criminal anarchists active in 1911-1912 A tasty little anecdote: Guillaume and Simenon will even become friends. The writer met him on the Orfevre embankment, where the commissioner explained to him his methods of investigation and his subtle psychology to make the guilty confess.

Patrick Catalifo, aka Commissioner Max Brauner in the Forest of Lyon.

Gaumont distribution

Directed by Olivier Marchal and released in 2011, the film Les Lyonnais refers to the famous Lyon gang that ran rampant in the Lyon area in the 1970s. In the film, actor Patrick Catalifo plays curator Max Brauner. A character inspired by former commissioner Michel Neyret, who was also an advisor on the film. Number two in the Judicial Police of Lyon, he had an impressive hunting record over nearly thirty years of a career. Representing one of the best case-solving rates in France, it was he who was behind the discovery of the hiding place of Toni Musulin, a courier of funds who left in 2009 with 11.6 million euros contained in his van. . Neiret’s downfall was brutal: Arrested in 2011 for corruption and drug dealing, he was convicted in 2018 for corruption and criminal involvement.

Denzel Washington aka Alonzo Harris in “Training Day”

Warner Brazzers.

Antoine Fuqua’s stunning film, inspired by an electrifying interpretation of the imperial Denzel Washington (Oscar in key), the actor delivered a masterful composition as Alonzo Harris, a veteran and legend of the DEA who has recorded a record number of convicted felons. A respectable hunting list, if he had not become cunning and unprincipled during this time. If an actor took wise advice San Francisco police consultant Paul Losada tells the life of drug enforcement officers, his character is inspired by a real corrupt police officer. A little Rafael Perezcaught in the spiral of a huge scandal that engulfed the LAPD’s anti-gang unit, where Perez began by taking confiscated drug money for himself and then began selling cocaine himself between 1995 and 1998.

Gerard Depardieu, aka Denis Klein in “36, Quai des Orfèvres”


In 36 Orfevre Quai, Gerard Depardieu embodies Denis Klein, head of Banditry Repression Brigade (BRB), rival of Leo Vrinks, who in the meantime is head of the BRI (Research and Intervention Team). Depardieu’s character is inspired by Commissioner Raymond Merz. Under his leadership, the BRB was marred by two scandals that were indirectly related to each other. One concerned a shooting on Rue Docter Blanche during a police operation to apprehend a notorious gang of hairpieces during a bank robbery in 1986. The other dealt with the case of the “Ripo Gang”. A criminal association that includes at least five rogue police officers accused of participating in a series of assaults, burglaries and armed attacks between January 1982 and July 1985 in the Paris region.

Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider aka Jimmy Doyle and Buddy Russo in The French Connection.

20th century fox

A masterpiece that won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for William Friedkin, The French Connection obviously owes a lot to the director’s production, as well as the alchemy of the extraordinary duo of Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider. Jimmy Doyle and Buddy Russo. They are inspired by detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, who busted a major drug ring in 1962 and later became known as the French Connection. They worked as technical consultants on the film to make it as realistic as possible. They also play the role of the two detectives’ superiors.

Al Pacino, aka Vincent Hannah in the movie Heat.

Warner Brazzers.

“Heat” is a huge movie Michael Mann that we don’t represent much more Al Pacino plays pugnacious Police Lieutenant Vincent Hannah, who relentlessly hunts down Robert De Niro, aka Neil McAuley, and his gang. History Heatand the TV movie LA Takedown before it, are partly based on a crime scene that took place in Chicago in the early 1960s by Neil McCauley in 1963.

Al Pacino aka Frank Serpico

Paramount Pictures

honest cop, Serpico combating widespread corruption within the NYPD. Hated by everyone, colleagues and superiors, he can only count on himself to carry out his crusade for justice… Al Pacino’s composition in Sidney Lumet’s film remains one of the greatest roles in his vast career. True to Method Acting, dear Actors Studio, introduced the actor to his illustrious model in order to better get used to the role. The latter also wanted to be present on the set. He was given permission, but Sidney Lumet asked him to leave the set as soon as possible, as he was afraid that his presence would interfere with the work of the actors, in particular Al Pacino. A key witness on the Knapp Commission, set up in April 1970 by Mayor John Lindsay to investigate corruption in the New York City Police Department, Frank Serpico left to settle in Switzerland. He is 85 years old and currently lives in the District of Columbia, New York.

Clint Eastwood aka Inspector Harry

Warner Brazzers.

A taciturn cop whose working methods are as effective as they are morally dubious, deliberately misogynist, clenched jaw and .44 magnum under his jacket, Clint Eastwood played (five times) the unforgettable Inspector Harry; one of the large mouths of the 7th art. The character of Harry Callahan, like that of Frank Bullitt, actually takes David Toshi as his model. This real-life San Francisco police inspector was known to the general public at the time for the case he was involved in, the Zodiac Killer case.

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