Possibly the most chilling films ever made in the 70s 'conspiracy theory' genre (see also The Parallax View, All The President's Men), The Conversation frightens with its grim, gripping view of the surveillance world.
Harry Caul is San Francisco's best 'bugging' expert - there's no one he can't spy on, there's no conversation he can't listen to. When he's asked to spy on a young couple, he discovers that things aren't always as they seem - and that remaining unaffected by the subjects he spies on is impossible.
The review of this Movie prepared by Cassie Whittell
Harry Caul (Hackman) is a surveillance expert. His job is to collect confidential information for clients without asking any questions. The film opens with his latest challenging job: capturing the conversation of a couple as they weave through crowds and street performers in Union Square, San Francisco, at noon. As he clarifies and pieces together their conversation, a sense of dire threat to the young man and woman grows on him, and -- haunted by a previous job that resulted in the death of a family -- he becomes emotionally involved in the task. Harry is very much a loner -- isolated and a little paranoid. We meet some of his colleagues, and several women (one played by youthful Terri Garr) that swirl meaninglessly through his life. Fresh-faced Harrison Ford, 32 and just out of "American Grafitti," plays his contact with the client executive (an uncredited appearance by Robert Duvall). Cindy Williams, a few years from "Laverne and Shirley" is the young woman in the conversation. Crack editor and sound man Walter Murch received a well-deserved Academy Award nomination for this 1974 film where sound does many different things. On the eve of the Watergate affair, Francis Ford Coppola wrote and directed this quiet masterpiece -- slow, stately, yet tense and frightening, with sudden rare bursts of motion and sound -- using the profits from his first two Godfather pictures.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus