Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation was a relatively small and quiet character study released between the twin behemoths of The Godfather parts I and II.
As a result, the film was overshadowed commercially, despite being
nominated for several Oscars in 1974, but it remains an artistic
highlight in Coppola’s career, easily ranking among his larger, more
iconic works. At least half the credit for that goes to Gene Hackman. He
plays Harry Caul, a legend in the private-surveillance industry
uncomfortable in his own skin. He knows firsthand that the concept of
privacy in contemporary society is mostly illusory, and the nature of
his occupation has made him increasingly paranoid and plagued by guilt.
As Caul, Hackman pulls off a subtle acting feat, managing to make a man
who’s so emotionally guarded he’s practically lifeless into a
- Showing at: Laurelhurst.
- Best paired with: BridgePort Stumptown Tart.
- Also screening: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Hollywood Theatre), The Godfather Part II (Academy).