The Conversation

1974

Drama / Mystery / Thriller

87
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 86,391

Synopsis


Downloaded 19,796 times
April 1, 2019

Cast

Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers
Gene Hackman as Coach Norman Dale
Harrison Ford as Linus Larrabee
Robert Duvall as Bill Vigars
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
971.83 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
113 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.83 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
113 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by majik43-1 10 / 10 / 10

A Great Performance... (possible plot spoilers... you decide)

I watched this film because of all the recommendations people had made about it and also because of Francis Ford Coppola and Gene Hackman. The thing that marks this film out from other thrillers is the level of realism in it. 'Harry Caul', Gene Hackman's character, makes for a complex hero. He's emotionally disciplined and brilliant at what he does. He's a man who eavesdrops on others for a living yet values his own privacy to a self-stifling fault. He also lives with regrets. As the film progresses the plot almost takes a backseat to the closely guarded world of Harry, who is impressively brought to life by Gene Hackman. It's perhaps the kind of role we rarely see him in and yet he gives one of his best ever celluloid performances and an understated one at that. The film also makes great use of sound as a tension-creating device. We, the viewer are invited to eavesdrop with Harry and his assistant 'Stan' (played wonderfully by John Cazale - The Godfather, The Deer Hunter), and participate in the films central theme. This device is effective in gaining sympathy as when Harry is eventually faced with a dilemma, his problem is one the viewers can identify with. Yet he isn't the gung-ho grit-bearer that we wish him to be. He crumbles when faced the truth he reluctantly seeks and he takes money from the very people that he suspects of a possible murder. All these traits make him a frustrating man to side with. A lot of credit has to be given to Francis Ford Coppola for the film's suitably subtle pace. This isn't a car-chase type of movie so don't expect 'The French Connection'. But if you want a plausible plot and a challenging, vulnerable performance by Gene Hackman then see this. One of the best thrillers I've ever seen.

Reviewed by nycritic 8 / 10 / 10

Blow Up in the Key of Sound.

He's supposed to be the leading authority in freelance surveillance, but from the start there are hints that while he's good, he's also careless. While his apartment is locked, his landlord leaves him a Happy Birthday present. His mistress, Amy (Teri Garr in a small role) tells him she saw him standing in the staircase for an entire hour. He invites a rival co-worker to his office (which seems to be a warehouse) with several other people and carelessly allows the man to record his own conversation by means of what looks to be an innocuous pen which wouldn't be out of place in any James Bond movie. And his liaison with a call girl he meets at that party results in her stealing the tapes of a conversation he has recorded and that has lately been the focus of his obsession. This is Harry Caul, a loner who is a little too glum to be good company and takes his work seriously. Maybe too seriously -- which eventually proves to be his downfall. The fact that his own co-worker Stan (John Cazale) leaves him to go work for a rival agency, Moran, only serves to prove Harry is really someone who is so much a loner he drives anyone away from him. He can't seem to have any form of relationship -- it's only time when Amy will also leave him as she seems somewhat frustrated by this wall of privacy he's built around himself. His entire life revolves around secrecy, and he only is able to live vicariously throughout others, even if he himself feels guilty about it and would deny it because to top it all, he has a strong religious streak, and discloses under confession that he was witness of a surveillance gone wrong and which resulted in the deaths of three people. Now this assignment has him worried: he's listened to a conversation between a man and a woman and is afraid the woman's husband may try to kill them both. But is this what he's heard, or has been misinterpreted due to the limitations and distortions of sound? Like 1966's BLOW UP, which dealt with what the human eye is capable of discerning through the mechanism of a camera and what happens when one zooms in, THE CONVERSATION deals with the manipulation of sound to make out a sentence that lies just underneath the sounds of the city. But while that elusive sentence comes through -- "he's kill us if he had the chance" -- what Harry fails to catch is the intonation itself, which would have radically altered his deduction and completely shifted his attention. Like the definition of the word "caul", Harry is unable to see (or hear) the reality, or that he's been a victim of his own occupation by the end of the film; by making himself visible to whom he thinks was in danger, he's now made himself the target of surveillance by the same agency who employed him as he receives that disturbing call at the end: "We'll be listening to you." Whether it be real or not, one shot implies it is: a panning shot to the right, then to the left, from an elevated angle, showing us the destruction of Harry's apartment through his own hands as he has fruitlessly tries to debug his place. It's the tell-tale pan of a surveillance camera, which he has failed to discover. Again. This is most definitely not an action-packed thriller, but one that is totally cerebral -- it forces you to pay attention, to listen, to heighten your senses and discover for yourself what Harry is trying to find even when we know he will be wrong all along. Even as he seems to teeter over madness near the end as his grisly discovery of blood pouring out of a toilet bowl at the Jack Tarr Hotel indicates, we still wonder if he's actually seeing this, or not. Like BLOW UP, this is one of those mysteries that doesn't look to get solved cleanly, but by being inconclusive, lingers in the mind long after the credits have rolled, and in the process, leaves one man destroyed.

Reviewed by bat-5 8 / 10 / 10

Paranoia and alienation.

The Conversation is a quiet film that slowly builds on the central theme of paranoia. Gene Hackman is hired to record a conversation between two people. As Hackman pieces the dialouge together, we get to hear more and more of what's being said. Only thing is, we don't know exactly what is being referred to. Hackman seems to have an idea, as does the audience. As he starts to realize what's at stake, Hackman starts to develop a feeling of regret and refuses to hand over the tapes to the "director." Along the way, we see just how alone Gene Hackman's character is. His only solace in life is playing the saxaphone along with jazz records. He values his privacy and has trouble connecting with people, even members of his own team. Francis Ford Coppola keeps the story moving and lets it build naturally. He gives us glimpses into Hackman's mind as he "thinks" he knows what's going to happen to the people he recorded. The only way to see what happens in the end is to watch this quiet masterpiece. To tell about the ending would ruin the fun, not to mention the suspence of this understated thriller.

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