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Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Gene Hackman
John Cazale
Allen Garfield
Frederic Forrest.
Francis Ford Coppola.
Francis Ford Coppola.
Running Time
113 minutes

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5 Star Empire Rating

The Conversation
Francis Ford Coppola's great, landmark American film of the '70s. And we're not talking The Godfather Parts I and II

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Solitary surveillance expert Harry Caul, indifferent to the subjects of his eavesdropping until the furtive confidences of illicit lovers arouse guilt and longings that draw him into a murder plot and corporate conspiracy.

The same year Francis Coppola made The Godfather Part II, he also wrote and directed another great, landmark American film of the '70s. A tense, paranoia thriller,The Conversation is also a disturbing exploration of privacy and personal responsibility in the age of technological intrusion. Gene Hackman finds bittersweet poignancy in solitary surveillance expert Harry Caul, indifferent to the subjects of his eavesdropping until the furtive confidences of illicit lovers arouse guilt and longings that draw him into a murder plot and corporate conspiracy.

Groundbreaking sound design by Walter Murch and the know-how of advisor Hal Lipset (who examined the notorious gap in Nixon's White House tapes) enhance the realism; compelling dialogue and Hackman's finely portrayed internal struggle give it the fascination of a recurring dream.

A masterful study in psychology that touches on issues accutely prevelant today.

Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Average user rating for The Conversation
Empire Star Rating

Doesn't get much more boring

Boring 2 hours, with a lame twist tacked on to try and save the film, it fails ... More

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Posted by david hayes at 14:27, 03 May 2013 | Report This Post


tp://]The ConversationTechnically this might just be the best Coppola picture I`ve seen to date. Paranoia all over the place in this brilliantly shot film that has a wonderfully slow pace, something that fits the script very well. Gene Hackman is excellent as the surveillance expert who goes slightly mad. The sound has a big part in this and it`s brilliantly mixed. A masterpiece in every way. /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:43, 22 May 2012 | Report This Post


Certainly well told, in that the direction can sometimes be very paranoid in nature like the main character's perception of the world. And the big reveal is quite impressive in its cleverness. But it was drawn back by the way all the parts outside of the hotel room or his apartment were drawn out which I really don't like in films. Well made but shouldn't have been nominated for Best Picture, especially against The Godfather Part II, Chinatown and The Towering Inferno. ... More

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Posted by Mr. Fincher at 19:11, 06 April 2012 | Report This Post

The godfather of paranoia thrillers. Compelling stuff.

The skilled Coppola and terrific Hackman make me wonder why this classic has been so ignored. ... More

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Posted by !xHoTRoDx! at 21:56, 08 July 2010 | Report This Post


I've seen and enjoyed many horror films in my time, ranging from the genuinely scary classics Alien, The Exorcist and The Shining through to various video nasties and slick '90s shockers such as Misery and Silence of the Lambs. But I've rarely been so unnerved as I was as this slow, low-key, down-beat bugging drama reached its climax. OK, the twist at the end is fudged and cheated as far as the viewer is concerned, but it makes sense in terms of the plot and characters. One of the most troubling... More

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Posted by MDL at 23:50, 03 February 2008 | Report This Post

Beautiful filmmaking

A Coppola and Hackman best ... More

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Posted by jamdodge1 at 19:40, 23 May 2007 | Report This Post

Beautiful filmmaking

A Coppola and Hackman best ... More

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Posted by jamdodge1 at 19:40, 23 May 2007 | Report This Post

Just for the sting in the tail the finale applies, it becomes a memorable film that is further testimony to Coppola's mark on 70's cinema. ... More

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Posted by mufcgeorge7 at 00:52, 04 February 2006 | Report This Post


amazing,need i say more ... More

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Posted by doncopey1 at 22:51, 03 January 2006 | Report This Post

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