The Conversation [Blu-ray]
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I view The Conversation as a dark film because its raises so many questions which seem even more relevant today than they were in 1974. How secure can any life be? Who is accumulating personal as well as professional data about whom? Why? Satellites can take photographs of a license plate. All of the data on computer hard drives can be recovered. DNA tests can determine whether or not a monarch was poisoned hundreds of years ago. In so many ways, "there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide" from modern technologies.Read more ›
The DVD of "The Conversation" is great. To start off, it has good, animated menus. The theatrical trailer is nice, just for nostalgic purposes. There is also a featurette, "Close-Up on The Conversation". It makes for a nice, brief look at the making of the film, and it's fun to see Coppola so young. What really makes this DVD great though, are the two commentary tracks. The first is by the director himself, Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola's commentary is one of the most comprehensive I've ever heard. If you don't appreciate this movie now, you will after you've heard his commentary. The second commentary is by editor Walter Murch, which is also very good, especially if you are specifically interested in the editing process.
If you like Coppola, Hackman, or are just a sucker for a clever script, this DVD is for your collection.
The worldview advanced in those films, was that a Cold War mindset had infected American domestic life ... powerful, mysterious forces were foisting a secret spy game on the unsuspecting public. Those jaded messages resonated with Americans, who had lost their innocence to political assassinations, Vietnam, and Watergate.
The Conversation is perfectly representative of those times. Gene Hackman is ideally cast as a lonely electronic surveillance professional, whose carefully detached world cracks apart when a routine assignment goes wrong and drives him over the moral edge.
Deprived of a human support system, Hackman's intelligence turns on itself and leads him into a series of dangerous mistakes. In the end Hackman finds himself no longer the safe detached observer, but instead, a vulnerable pawn in a cruel conspiracy plot.
The film's direction is masterful in the hands of Francis Ford Coppola at his restrained best. The style is European noirish: spare, cerebral, brooding, enhanced by masterful photography and intellectual jazz music. Though the film is shot in color, you may find that you remember it in black and white.
Viewers beware: The Conversation is not for action lovers, it moves slowly and requires a love of introspection.
Say what you will about the imitated-to-the-point-of-parody "Godfather" movies, or the often brilliant piece of film madness that is "Apocalypse Now." I'd still rather talk about "The Conversation."
Ostensibly a thriller about a professional wiretapper and his surveilance of a single conversation in what appears to be an adulterous relationship, "The Conversation" is also a a thought-provoking masterwork about secrets, lies, spies and power in Watergate-era America, and an excellent character study about the interplay between conscience and professionalism in one profoundly real, profoundly fascinating man.
The man in question, Harry Caul, is obsessed with secrets--keeping his own, and finding out other people's. Gene Hackman's riveting portrayal of Caul--a dramatic change of pace from iron-willed characters like "The French Connection"'s Popeye Doyle--shows us a man riven by conflicting emotions. Pride, obsessiveness, professionalism, lust, and good old Catholic guilt are all at war in Harry's tortured soul, pulling him in a multitude of different directions as the movie unfolds.
At the film's outset, we see him overseeing the surveilance of the conversation in question, a perplexing, half-heard dialogue between a young couple out for a lunchtime stroll in a public park in San Francisco. Snippets of this conversation loop through Harry's mind and through the movie, playing and re-playing, but he--and we--only gradually uncover its true meaning.
Gradually, Harry begins to suspect that, if he does his job right, the couple in question may be killed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great story, with wonderful performances by some presently well known actors before they were famous. Harrison Ford is one. Read morePublished 13 days ago by removeb4flight
One might pooh-pooh the final scene of the movie, in which Harry Caul is trapped in his own apartment, overheard by an unseen person who calls to remind him of this. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent Blu-ray which improves on the DVD, and looks fine in HD. Francis Ford Coppola's compelling character study starring Gene Hackman holds up well today.Published 1 month ago by Quiet Knight
I bought tho movie because some reviewer said it was one of the best movies he had ever seen. Not. Some of the technology of that era was fun to see, but I found the plot... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karen Ziminski
Haven't watched yet, but love Gene Hackman. I'm sure it will be great.Published 2 months ago by sgal
Item was shipped on time and as expected. Excellent transaction. Thanks.Published 2 months ago by Charlatan NC
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