The Conversation. 1974. USA. Written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. With Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Terri Garr, Harrison Ford, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams. 35mm print supervised by Francis Ford Coppola. 113 min.
“He’d kill us if he had the chance.” Coppola’s first film after The Godfather is a masterpiece of sustained suspense and paranoia, with Gene Hackman as surveillance expert Harry Caul, a recluse living alone in an empty San Francisco apartment. The Conversation was nominated for three Academy Awards, including a Best Sound nod for legendary editor/sound designer Walter Murch. The success of Rialto’s 2022 rerelease led Coppola to grant the company rights to five other films in his library, including One from the Heart and Apocalypse Now: Final Cut. “A Hitchcockian thriller, a first-rate psychological portrait of a distinctive modern villain, and a bitter attack on American business values…all in one movie” (David Denby).