Customer Reviews for

The Conversation

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "We'll be listening.",

    The dreadfully real technology revealed during the Watergate investigations lent a special relevance to Francis Ford Coppola's film about wiretapping. However, the film's astonishingly prophetic script was written five years before the film was made and the Watergate scandal broke. It is Coppola's most successfully realized work to date. In "The Conversation", Coppola combines the technological monsters we know are real with those we suspect to be real and focuses finally and most ruthlessly on one person no one thinks much about: the man doing the listening. Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), is a security specialist who performs wiretapping and eavesdropping operations for powerful clients. A requirement of the job is a profound personal detachment. A professional, he is a solitary soul he relates most actively to the world via the technology at his disposal. Even his hobby, playing the saxophone along with jazz records, relies on his interaction with impersonal strangers. He evinces a neurotic fear of precisely what he does to others he is absolutely phobic about his privacy, keeps an unlisted phone number and shuns all social contact, the exception being his girlfriend (Teri Garr). Throughout the film, regardless of the weather, he wears a transparent raincoat, as if to sanitize himself from his environment. At confession, he admits to stealing newspapers. Only a virtuoso performance by Gene Hackman incorporates these striking contradictions within a plausible character Harry's career forces him to maintain an elaborate and at times ridiculous system of repressed instincts, rather like Maupassant, who disliked the Eiffel Tower so much that he ate lunch in its observation deck every day so he wouldn't have to look at it. As a thriller plain and simple, the film is without peer. It has a slow and careful pace at first that accelerates to moments of indescribable fright. There is a bathroom scene that will make you afraid ever to use indoor plumbing again and a twist ending so completely surprising and convincing as to change the meaning of every scene in the film and make the denouement of "Psycho" seem predictable in comparison. Coppola was not the first filmmaker to present a nightmare world of humans without humanity or human rights. But his nightmare is the most convincing because it is the world in which we live. [filmfactsman]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

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