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The Conversation [1974] [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,207 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
MOst people won't probably get all the complexity and depth of this film from a cinematographic and a content point of view, because THe Conversation is not a film meant to show off its uniqueness. But if you watch it and listen to it with the right attitude, you will get its incredible beauty and dramatic sense of life., and understand why it is regarded as one of the greatest films ever done. To me it's the best film by Coppola, along with Apocalypse Now, although being two opposite films. As the latter is grand and visually striking, this one is a little chamber film, whose audiovisual qualities are not inferior to the other film, but just differently visionary.
It's a film made of audio/video details, long shots, silence and sudden explosion of sound and music, an multilayered perception of reality and characters' mind that create a short circuit and a mix of hyperrealism and surrealism, because the more you hear the more you lose your sense of reality, of what's true and what's just in your mind. And Gene Hackman is perfect to convey this sense of gradual lost of orientation, playing a lonely man who feels reality, society, life itself is like leavinhg him behind and even more alone. He is the guy who's perception is at the same time a step ahead of all the others but does not help him to live his life with consciousness and confidence. Instead, he more and more realizes how everyone is alone and miserable and mean, feeling like a guardian who see the world from above but can't do anything to change it, and ends up being part of a plot that he cannot control.
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Format: DVD
Forget the fact that The Conversation didn't get the headlines or awards of the Godfather. No flashy razamatazz, just quality writing, directing and acting, not least the finest performance of a glittering career by Gene Hackman as the intensely private and paranoid sound recording expert Harry Caul, who uncovers a plot, but finds himself digging too deep and losing control. The subtlety of Hackman is evident from the spare dialogue - he says little, but expresses his character's thoughts and emotions as though you could read his mind.
This is an intense, smouldering character study with a brilliant twist, fully deserving its place in my personal top 10 films of all time. As with all the best films, it stands repeated watching to appreciate the hidden depths within its apparently simple architecture.
Furthermore, at this price it is an absolute bargain. Buy and enjoy!
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