Writer: Francis Ford Coppola (Screenplay)
Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Harrison Ford
Plot: A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Strong Thriller
Story: The Conversation starts as surveillance expert Harry Caul (Hackman) and his team record their latest work surround a married couple, upon looking to receive his payment we learn about his paranoid mind set, living in secretive life with no phones, wanting his own lock for his apartment and his own secure mail box.
Once he collects his payment, Harry starts looking into the recordings, asking just what is so important about the conversation he has recorded. When his former employee Stan (Cazale) leaves him, Harry starts to believe he is being followed and it is his involvement in the last case causing this feeling, is he being followed or just losing his mind.
Thoughts on The Conversation
Characters/Performance – Harry is an isolated man who works on the bugging world before it was a major factor, he is considered one of the best in the business but does have a paranoid side. He starts to question everything he has been doing putting his career on the line. The rest of the characters are people that work with, respect or are the people are being recorded, they all help with the outcome of the film.
Performance wise, Gene Hackman is brilliant in this leading role playing each part of the character exactly how you would expect him to be. We do have good performance from the supporting cast and always look out for young Harrison Ford.
Story – The story has in places dated because technology has moved onto the next level and the idea of the surveillance idea has become a major problem in the world. We do get a mystery thriller that leads our leading man Harry into a moral dilemma into what is the right or wrong thing to do, this is the highlight of the film.
Mystery/Thriller – We are left trying to piece together the mystery in this film about what is the importance of this conversation recorded and once Harry questions it all we are left wanting to know how it will unfold.
Settings – Most of the settings show us just how difficult it would be to trust your environment from becoming bugged and the consequences of being caught where you would know what it is like to be the victim.
Final Thoughts – This is a thriller that has a brilliant pay off and twist even if it is slightly slow getting to that moment.
Overall: Good thriller that stands the suspense of time.