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Conversation [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Gene Hackman , John Cazale , Francis Ford Coppola    DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Conversation [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Parallax View, The [1974] [DVD] + 3 Days of the Condor
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Product details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Mona Skager
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Dec 2000
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CX9I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,368 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Conversation is about a private surveillance expert called Harry Caul (played by Gene Hackman) who gets personally involved in a case after being hired to record a conversation between two people. Caul begins to suspect that the couple may have murder in mind............

The film begins in a straightforward manner, but soon becomes a tricky state of affairs and delves deeply into Caul's personal psyche. This makes it a gripping character piece revolving around loneliness and paranoia; a familiar subject of 70's filmmaking. You only have to witness the likes of Taxi Driver and Serpico to recognise the value of such a theme and ironically, such themes are still important now as they were then.

With it's less than two hour running time, the film still demands patience as Coppola's European `art house' direction ensures a slow burning and absorbing thriller, where he deliberately pans from scene to scene to give that CCTV camera effect. There are also good cameos from a young Harrison Ford and it's nice to see the late John Cazale make another rare appearance.

Francis Ford Coppola directed The Conversation between the two Godfather movies and since he went on to make Apocalypse Now; it's obvious that he was at the height of his creativity. As usual we get a passionate and informative audio commentary from Coppola where he admits the complications surroundings the film and also dedicates his brave attempt at suspense to the Great Alfred Hitchcock. However such complications do reveal a handful of plot holes, but don't let that put you off - as ultimately the film is about personal interpretation and there are no right or wrong answers. At certain stages in the film, Caul is highly paranoid and deep into his own thoughts.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George Orwell warned us.... 26 Sep 2005
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Most of us know at least one person who can compartmentalize her or his life, separating business from pleasure, career from family, etc. Such people have exceptional focus and determination. Brilliantly portrayed by Gene Hackman, Harry Caul is such a person. (Even his girlfriend Amy, played by Teri Garr, does not know where he lives.) Harry is an expert technician who is retained to conduct electronic surveillance of those identified by his clients. In effect, he is a high-tech private investigator. What he records becomes evidence of illegal, unethical, or immoral behavior. Harry has no personal interest in the private lives he invades surreptitiously. But then he accepts an assignment and begins to suspect that the subjects of his surveillance will be murdered. The "compartments" in his life which Harry has so carefully separated begin to merge (albeit gradually) and he begins to have second thoughts about how he earns a living. Of course, he is better qualified than any other character in the film to understand (if not yet fully appreciate) the implications of an invasion of privacy. Under Francis Ford Coppola's brilliant direction, Harry begins to feel paranoid.

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 convey camneras thast 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.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
'The Conversation' concerns Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a saxophone playing surveillance expert, who records a conversation between two people in a busy San Francisco square. It should have been a routine job for him but its contents haunt him and he gradually descends into paranoia.
The film appears to be a classic 70s thriller in the vein of 'The Parallax View' or 'The French Connection' but is, in many ways, more similar to European art films, particularly Antonioni's 'Blow Up'. It is a consideration of the morality of surveillance and a study of the crippling of a man overcome with guilt and fear.
The film deserves considerable re-viewing not only because of the elaborate growth of Coppola's screenplay but also to consider his sparse images of despair that constantly enforce the invasion of privacy. Gene Hackman delves so deeply into Harry's character that it is almost stifling while David Shire's score is constantly unsettling. Walter Murch provides the innovative sound design and also helps to create the film's atmosphere with his beautiful editing.
The film was the basis for the recent Tony Scott film 'Enemy of the State' and even features Gene Hackman as a Harry Caul like character but the Hollywood update pales in comparison with the original.
This is a considered, intelligent and crafted film and seems more personal than the other, more familiar Coppola classics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex and challenging 12 Feb 2010
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
It's amazing how successful films about loners can be: Taxi Driver, The Wrestler, The Conversation. This film gets inside a lonely man and dissects his problems with life. He's trying to make a living and keep out of trouble, but that's not enough, it doesn't work. As Coppola admits, he only got to make this film because he was so successful with The Godfather. It's art house, but very clever and intricate, posing questions about sanity, responsibility, religion, love and loneliness. Gene Hackman is beguiling. I was impressed by how far Coppola took the idea.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Biter bit
‘The Conversation’(1974) is an excellent thriller (/chiller?) starring Gene Hackman. If you’ve seen ‘Enemy of the State’ (1998), whether you liked it or not, I’d recommend you saw... Read more
Published 5 days ago by BobH
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Unfortunately, despite being region 2 format, wouldn't play.
Published 18 days ago by jacky smith
3.0 out of 5 stars All talk...
Harry Cauldon (Gene Hackman) is a surveillance expert. He carries the emotional weight of a previous case which led to the death of his two subjects. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Broadsword
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all good
Published 27 days ago by Ian I
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
It's a good film with wonderful photography and a blue blooded performance from Gene Hackman. The plot is about counter surveillance - something apposite in 2014 - and paranoia... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dan Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great film
Published 1 month ago by safetypro
5.0 out of 5 stars Just see this film-a classic.
This 70's conspiracy theory/paranoia fest is a must see. Great performances all round a classic.
Published 1 month ago by Andy Clambake
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by headbaffling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by A. P. Buckland
1.0 out of 5 stars The Boring Conversation
I am a big fan of gene hackman so i looked at the list of films he has been in, i saw this film had great reviews so i thought i give it ago, all i can say is it's the most boring... Read more
Published 3 months ago by STEVENSEAGALFAN
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