Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Conversation (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)

Written, directed and produced by Francis Ford Copolla, The Conversation tells the story of Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a highly successful surveillance expert from San Francisco. As successful and revered as he is in his line of work, he is incredibly secretive and obsessed with his own privacy, to the detriment of his personal relationships.

The opening scene shows Caul and his team recording what appears to be a rather inocuous conversation between a man and a woman in San Francisco's Union Square.
Caul successfully combines the tapes to make a clear recording of the conversation however, its meaning is ambiguous. Harry becomes more intrigued by the conversation he taped and decides to investigate it further. The more he learns, the more the meaning of the conversation changes. His investigations also threatens his anonymity.
This film is one that stays with you well after you have seen it.
Gene Hackman's performance is perfectly pitched to show the restraint and lonely world of Harry Caul.
I felt such empathy towards his character during the brief moment when opens himself up.

The music score by David Shire is definitely a part of why the The Conversation is successful - the main theme played on a solo piano is one of the most enchanting that I have heard and am suprised that I haven't heard it before.

I give it 4 1/2 stars


  1. I'm glad you liked it JO! I thinks it's pretty great.

  2. The Conversation? It was all talk, talk, talk.