The Conversation

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Released 1974

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Movie Summary

Director:
Francis Ford Coppola
Released:
1974
Rating:
PG
The Conversation is a thriller film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola centering on Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a surveillance expert so good at his job that no one is safe, not even himself as his paranoid obsession with privacy he even encloses his office in a wire mesh, knowing it interrupts the tools of his trade. Professional and distant, Harry never has felt responsible or given any thought to what he hears or why he is listening to any of those conversations. However, as he and his friend Stan (John Cazale) monitor the conversation of a couple (Cindy Williams and Frederic Forrest), he begins a journey of paranoia, questioning every minute piece of the conversation, and tries to determine just who is being watched. The Conversation also has small performances from Harrison Ford, Teri Garr, and an uncredited Robert Duvall.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    As he is played by Gene Hackman in The Conversation, an expert wiretapper named Harry Caul is one of the most affecting and tragic characters in the movies.

  • 90

    Variety

    A major artistic asset to the film - besides script, direction and the top performances - is supervising editor Walter Murch's sound collage and re-recording.

  • 70

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Mr. Coppola, the writer as well as the director, has nearly succeeded in making a great film but has, instead, made one that is merely very good.

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    Themes

    Crime, Thrillers, Classics