3.5 Antonioni influence is very obvious here to the degree that you can argue that COPPOLA is copying, but the THE CONVERSATION falls short in comparison with BLOW-UP, COPPOLA here is fallowing on somewhat of superficial level, in BLOW-UP the crime is underlining how the art is made and how it’s interpreted, COPPOLA movie is about paranoia, that doesn’t make it a bad film, but not great one either.
A powerful piece of suspense film-making that I need to see at least a second time. It's more intelligent and has a more satisfying ending than its companion piece Blowup, and yet somehow I liked the latter better - makes me feel like I should like this one more. Perhaps it's Blowup's rich orchestral score and explosion of colour that won me over - but perhaps after viewing this more often things will change.
A fine technically well made film. A surveillance expert gets emotional when he finds out he is on a dangerous assignment and breaks down emotionally. The final moments of the film "the bugger got ......". Coppola must have been high at his career with Godfather I and II and then this film. Gene was fantastic all the way. The surveillance audio intertwining with the climax sequence was so good.
This is a movie you can watch several times. One of the things I picked up on this time was how the couple were talking about the poor homeless man on the bench, and how his life must suck, and then you think about Harry's life. Paranoid. Not answering questions, which makes people even more curious, of course. I prefer this version of Hackman to the always angry Hackman. I also watched Cazale's performance closely.
As quiet and internalized as "Apocalypse Now" is bombastic. I was prepared for "The Conversation" as a study of paranoia—it's baked into both the concept and the era it was produced—but what took me aback was Coppola's sincere portrayal of urban loneliness. And what's changed? It's clear every time we wonder about the targeted ads that appear on our phones after a 'private' conversation: we're all Harry Caul now.
This is a movie that kept my mind occupied for a while and didn’t let me go so fast. You are the observer of a man who is specialized in observing others – and is being observed himself. It’s suspenseful, but even the little details of his daily life and his personality you get to know are fascinating to observe. I need to watch it a second time someday.
Unfortunately there are no chips in this movie. However it is quite good. Gene Hackamn's main character is well portrayed, and one can only wonder if he would have made better decisions had he eaten some potato delicacies before getting hammered (no spoilers).
Seemingly this film is always the 4th film on a list of Coppola films with the Godfather films and the inimitable Apocalypse Now always taking the top 3 spots. This leads many to underwrite The Conversation. Unfortunate as what this film was saying prophesied much of what we are now living with in the 2020s. Surveillance now being a constant. This film needs to be seen again by more people of my generation.
The underdogs are always the safest picks, and what could be more perfect for this role than the simple, little film sandwiched between the two Godfathers. Paranoia, Marantz tape recorders, When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along. And Gene Hackman on sax. OH Francis - why didn't you just pump a bunch of these kinda films out? This one is my guy