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The Conversation (1974) Movie Information

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The Conversation (1974)
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Mystery, Drama





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Francis Ford Coppola


Gene Hackman
John Cazale
Teri Garr
Allen Garfield
Frederic Forrest
Harrison Ford





Plot Outline:

A paranoid surveillance expert listens in on conversations in which he fears a couple may be killed only to find himself deeper in the mystery.

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Quick Movie Reviews

Chris Kavan 11/19/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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A pretty good thriller with Gene Hackman giving an exceptional performance in the lead. Although it can drag at times, stick with it, for the ending is truly a wonder to behold and more than makes up for some of the slower parts. Paranoia at its best.

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mitchellyoung 11/20/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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A masterful thriller that thrives on small suspenseful moments, rather than on large-scale action set pieces. Hackman is excellent, playing a wimpy and paranoid hero and Coppola uses atmosphere to create tension in even the smallest of scenes.

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woody 01/27/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Some think this movie is too slow. It is slow--deliciously, painstakingly slow. That's the mood of the movie, and Coppola sustains it masterfully. The movie revolves around technology and surveillance, methodical, repetitive and often tedious. But is much more than that. It's a provocative look at an unsettled period of time in America, and a man who's trying to find his way through it and failing. Gene Hackman shines in his best role.

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Full Movie Reviews

Movie God

03/20/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"The Conversation" by Yojimbo

An obsessive surveillance expert becomes convinced that a sound recording he has made could result in the murder of a young couple. The Conversation is a very, very clever film. It's got the kind of intelligent, original "twist in the tale" premise that Christopher Nolan has made his own and technically it's marvellous. A really creative use of sound design and artful direction from Coppola is augmented by an excellent central performance by Hackman making for a film that has much to be admired. The main problem is the detachment and sterility of the subject matter. It's very difficult to warm to such an emotionally cold and compulsive central character and as such it's all a little uninvolving; you can see exactly WHY Coppola made all the creative choices he did but that does not necessa...

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  Daniel Corleone
Daniel Corleone
Movie God

03/19/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

The Conversation review

" I'm not following you, I'm looking for you. There's a big difference." A slow burner that builds up well towards the wonderful finale. Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is a surveillance expert who works with Stan (John Cazale). A couple (Cindy Williams and Frederic Forrest) is bugged at a busy square. The story becomes interesting when the source of the surveillance has been revealed. Its romantic angle of Caulís girl, and an almost non-existent soundtrack were somewhat dissatisfying and lengthy. Screenplay was impressive with lines like: "Walking around in circles." and "A lot of fun you are. You're supposed to tease me, give hints, make me guess, you know." The Conversationís premise and themes of technology, distrust, bad communication and privacy were very interesting if only presen...

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03/28/2008 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"He'd kill us if he got the chance."

It is truly stunning that, in the same year, Coppola released both this film and The Godfather Part II. Add in The Godfather from two years prior and the man made three masterpieces in as many years. How can this possibly be the same person who directed Jack? Hackman is wonderful in a slightly different role, a quiet, lonely, socially inept surveillance expert who happens to be incapable of securing his own privacy from invasion. Like Blow-Up with sound instead of pictures, the film revolves around a recording of a couple's conversation seemingly indicating a plot to have them murdered. As Hackman becomes increasingly obsessed with illuminating the recording's meaning, the audience is long kept guessing as to what is going on, given the protagonist's unreliability. And like Rear Wind...

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