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NOIR: The Conversation

(Rated M)

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"I'm not following you, I'm looking for you. There's a big difference."

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A tautly menacing '70s treat, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation stars Gene Hackman as Harry Caul, a respected surveillance expert. The nature of his work has given him a need for privacy, and he goes about his life with an intense sense of paranoia. Caul takes on a job taping what appears to be a simple conversation between a couple in a crowded, open space. Racked by guilt from a previous, bungled case and his devout Catholicism, Caul senses danger in the ambiguous words he’s recorded, deciding not to hand it over to the company who has commissioned him, led by Harrison Ford and Robert Duvall. What follows is one of the most gripping thrillers ever made, as Harry falls deeper and deeper into the kind of trouble that can’t even be comforted by playing the saxophone...

Why You Should See This Film

The United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress considers this film to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and so do we. The performances and narrative are only outdone by the excellent score by David Shire, which, once you’ve heard it, is destined to be circling in your head forever and ever. The Conversation is a suspense classic.

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  • Year: 1974
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Cast: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield
  • Duration: 113 minutes
  • Language: English
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