Conversation

Conversation

4.7 8
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Cast: Francis Ford Coppola, Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield

     
 

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One of the defining movies of the 1970s, Paramount gives The Conversation the kind of excellent DVD release that it merits. The widescreen anamorphic transfer is excellent and showcases Bill Butler's moody, naturalistic camerawork. Walter Murch remixed his highly creative sound design for the DVD, and the resulting Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is excellent.See more details below

Overview

One of the defining movies of the 1970s, Paramount gives The Conversation the kind of excellent DVD release that it merits. The widescreen anamorphic transfer is excellent and showcases Bill Butler's moody, naturalistic camerawork. Walter Murch remixed his highly creative sound design for the DVD, and the resulting Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is excellent. The multi-talented Murch and writer/director Francis Ford Coppola also contribute interesting and always-engaging commentary tracks for the DVD. While movie fans will enjoy these commentaries, they also really allow filmmakers and students deep insight into multiple levels of creative choices that were made during all stages of the movie. The Conversation is a brilliant movie and it receives the stellar treatment it deserves on this DVD.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Francis Ford Coppola directed this brilliant psychological thriller while at the height of his powers, between the runaway successes of The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. Gene Hackman stars as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert hired to secretly record a young couple's conversation -- what he hears soon leads him to suspect that the pair may be in mortal danger. The Conversation beautifully creates an atmosphere of voyeurism, as we see the unwitting couple in telephoto shots and hear their voices lost in a sea of noise until Caul carefully processes the audiotapes to make their conversation emerge from the sonic murk. The incredible sound work earned Oscar nominations for Walter Murch and Arthur Rochester, and Murch joins Coppola on the DVD's illuminating audio commentary. Coppola's screenplay is impeccably shaded with nuance, building tension slowly before concluding in a head-spinning twist. Both The Conversation and The Godfather: Part II were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar that year (Coppola received best screenplay nominations for both pictures as well), and although The Godfather: Part II took both awards, The Conversation still stands among the finest American films of the '70s. The special-edition DVD also includes a featurette, interviews, and a theatrical trailer.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Though it was commercially lost in the shuffle between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, The Conversation ranks among the finest films of Francis Ford Coppola's career. Drawn on a more intimate canvas than the Godfather epics or Apocalypse Now, it's a compelling and expertly constructed chamber piece about the nature of privacy and the troubling gray area between facts and truth; it was also remarkably prescient, coming out just as the Watergate scandal was making surveillance a major issue in the American consciousness. Gene Hackman delivers a typically expert performance as Harry Caul, who makes his living finding out what others are doing. As a consequence, Caul has become an obsessively private man haunted by guilt and incapable of trusting anyone, and Hackman and Coppola mold him into an indelible character whose moral and professional sides are at constant war. Coppola also used his soundtrack with uncommon intelligence; in a decade in which the attention paid to film sound would increase by leaps and bounds, The Conversation was a breakthrough in using its soundtrack not just to convey dialogue and music but to deepen the story, as well as providing the ultimate screen example of the adage, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." The Conversation is a subtle film that best reveals its details through repeat viewings, though even on a first viewing it's a brilliant cautionary tale whose message has become all the more potent with the passage of time and the further rise of technology.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/12/2000
UPC:
0097360230741
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:53:00

Special Features

Commentary by director Francis Ford Coppola and film editor Walter Murch; featuretteClose-Up On The Conversation; theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Hackman Harry Caul
John Cazale Stanley
Allen Garfield William P. "Bernie" Moran
Frederic Forrest Mark
Cindy Williams Ann
Teri Garr Amy
Harrison Ford Martin Stett
Timothy Carey Actor
Elizabeth MacRae Meredith
Mark Wheeler Receptionist
Robert Shields The Mime
Phoebe Alexander Lurleen
Robert Duvall The Director
Michael Higgins Paul

Technical Credits
Francis Ford Coppola Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Bill Butler Cinematographer
Richard Chew Editor
Doug von Koss Set Decoration/Design
Walter Murch Editor,Sound/Sound Designer
Chuck Myers Asst. Director
Clark Paylow Production Manager
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Aggie Guerard Rodgers Costumes/Costume Designer
Fred Roos Co-producer
David Shire Score Composer
Jennifer Shull Casting
Dean Tavoularis Production Designer

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Scene Index

Scene Selection
0. Scene Selection
1. Not Hurting Anyone [9:18]
2. Happy Birthday Harry [4:35]
3. Preeminent In The Field [6:13]
4. I Wanna Know You [8:17]
5. Don't Get Involved [4:44]
6. "He'd Kill Us If He Got The Chance" [8:29]
7. Surveillance Convention [8:33]
8. How'd You Do It? [2:06]
9. Tricked [19:09]
10. The Director [10:11]
11. Room 773 [8:27]
12. We'll Be Listening To You [11:45]

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