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The Conversation [1974] [Blu-ray]


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Product details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: German, English
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004OQJSDG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,874 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The Conversation is regarded as one of Francis Ford Coppola’s greatest films. 

Two-time Academy Award® winner Gene Hackman (Unforgiven, The French Connection) plays a paranoid and personally-secretive surveillance expert who has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.  This tense thriller makes some remarkably advanced arguments about technology's role in society that still resonate today.

In addition to Apocalypse Now, The Conversation was Coppola’s only other film to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Special Features:

  • Collectible Booklet “The Conversation on The Conversation” – Includes First Reviews of the Movie After its Release in 1974
Over 5.5 Hours of Bonus Material:
  • Never-Before-Seen Archival Audio of Director Francis Ford Coppola Dictating the Original Script
  • Audio Commentary with Francis Ford Coppola
  • Audio Commentary with Supervising Editor Walter Murch
  • Never-Before-Seen Interview with Francis Ford Coppola and Composer David Shire
  • Never-Before-Seen Archival Screen Tests
  • Archival On-set Interview with Gene Hackman

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Current Account on 8 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD
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 By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Film Buff on 28 May 2014
Format: DVD
Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 psychological thriller The Conversation is without question a masterpiece. The Italian-American director will always be remembered for the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now, but trust me - this quiet little film about a surveillance operative hired by an establishment figure to record a lunchtime conversation taking place between two people walking around a crowded Union Square in San Francisco with fatal results, is as near perfection as a thriller can get. Looking back from a distance of some 40 years at the plethora of '70s thrillers concerning paranoid conspiracy theories, corruption in high places and the tarnished morality of public life in the States (all rooted in a public backlash against the Vietnam War and the dubious incumbent Nixon administration), The Conversation is for me the richest and the most accomplished of them all.

In the commentary on this fine Studio Canal DVD Coppola disclaims any link between the film and the Watergate investigations that coincided with its release. Apparently the film was in preparation from the mid '60s and is more a response to Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (1966) than anything else. Look closely however and one can't ignore the parallels between Nixon's plumbers and Coppola's buggers even down to the equipment they use. Most obvious of all is the sequence where the bugger is in a hotel room listening to the violence happening next door juxtaposed with a TV news broadcast talking about Nixon. The film also makes oblique reference to the 1969 Chappaquiddick car crash incident that is the source of so much conspiracy theorizing centered on Teddy Kennedy's consequent withdrawal from political life to Nixon's immediate advantage.
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