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The Conversation


Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams View All


Francis Ford Coppola (Screenplay), Francis Ford Coppola (Director) View All

Release: Apr. 7th, 1974
Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes
Surveillance expert Harry Caul is hired by a mysterious client's brusque aide to tail a young couple. Tracking the pair through San Francisco's Union Square, Caul and his associate Stan manage to record a cryptic conversation between them. Tormented by memories of a previous case that ended badly, Caul becomes obsessed with the resulting tape, trying to determine if the couple are in danger.
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However, I think it adds to the film's overall quality - thriller seems to recently have become a byword for ham-fistedness and poor-quality films, but putting more emphasis on the main character is something that seems to have been bypassed in recent years, and the emotional effects presented here - and in films such as Jacob's Ladder - can be as powerful as the physical ones.
However as I've said before my scores are heavily influenced by my sheer enjoyment of a film, that gut feeling that reallly makes you take to a film, even if you can't particularly describe why.
There's a wonderful moment in the film where Harry realizes he's been bugged and he loses it and Hackman's work in the climax of the film is devastating...or watch how comfortable Harry is when he slips under a hotel bathroom sink to listen to what's going on next door...like he belongs there.