The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation (1974) – The Conversation opens with… a conversation (THE conversation, in fact). Over the course of the movie that same conversation will be played a million times but the meaning will change. Gene Hackman plays Harry Caul, one of the foremost surveillance experts in the country. He is hiring to record the titular conversation in San Francisco’s Union Square by a mysterious client called the Director (Robert Duvall). When the Director’s assistant (Harrison Ford) tries to take the recording from Harry, instead of the Director himself, Harry becomes nervous. He’s been burned in the past before. His recordings have been used to very sinister ends. He doesn’t know if he can trust his employee (John Cazale). He doesn’t know if he can trust anyone. This is a movie centered around one man’s (justifiable) paranoia. Hackman is brilliant in this role and the film is marvelously directed by Francis Ford Coppola. See it if you like nuanced thrillers.

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