A surveillance expert accidentally picks up evidence of a murder, pushing him into a practical and moral dilemma. Filmed on location in San Francisco, it stars Gene Hackman in an Oscar-nominated role, alongside the great John Cazale. It was heavily influenced by Antonioni’s Blow Up, which deals with similar themes.
Francis Ford Coppola’s thoughtful thriller, The Conversation dates from 1974, which was the middle of his golden period between directing Godfather and Godfather 2. It reflects the tensions of the day, focusing on surveillance and the paranoia and moral tensions that this brings, and so is very much a parable for our current times.
Why I like it
It’s a fine, underappreciated film, from a director at the top of his game. Made in a period when young directors were pushing at the boundaries of the mainstream. Tom
The Conversation won the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1974, and was nominated for 3 Oscars, including Best Picture. It is rated at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 7.8 on the IMDB review sites.