Monday, August 31, 2009

Pantheon movie of the month - THE CONVERSATION

Between the two GODFATHER films, Francis Ford Coppola made a quiet psychological thriller of equal merit, though much less watched. It stars Gene Hackman as harry Caul, an expert wire-tapper so successful at repressing his knowledge of the consequences of his actions that he become introverted and alienated. Just as in BLOW-UP, through persistent viewing and an unhealthy dose of paranoia, he becomes convinced that a conversation he has recorded could have fatal consequences. Moreover, it becomes clear that as good as he is at being a voyeur, he's not as perfect as his peers think he is. His nemesis and fellow wire-tapper has, for instance, bugged him. The result is a brilliant thriller and character study, shot by Bill Butler of ROCKY II fame and sound edited by the non-pareil Walter Murch.

THE CONVERSATION played Cannes 1974 and opened in 1974 and 1975. THE CONVERSATION was nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Sound. It lost to the GODFATHER PART II, CHINATOWN and EARTHQUAKE respectively. It won the Palme d'Or, beating Pasolini's ARABIAN NIGHTS.

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