7.9/10
76,285
317 user 150 critic

The Conversation (1974)

A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.
Reviews
Popularity
3,341 ( 162)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

"The Washington Post" reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
Easy Rider (1969)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Chinatown (1974)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Deliverance (1972)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson
Night Moves (1975)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Los Angeles private detective Harry Moseby is hired by a client to find her runaway teenage daughter and he stumbles upon a case of murder and artifact smuggling.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Edward Binns
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Bernie Moran
...
...
Ann
Michael Higgins ...
Paul
...
Meredith (as Elizabeth Mac Rae)
...
Amy
...
...
Receptionist
Robert Shields ...
The Mime
Phoebe Alexander ...
Lurleen
Edit

Storyline

Harry Caul is a devout Catholic and a lover of jazz music who plays his saxophone while listening to his jazz records. He is a San Francisco-based electronic surveillance expert who owns and operates his own small surveillance business. He is renowned within the profession as being the best, one who designs and constructs his own surveillance equipment. He is an intensely private and solitary man in both his personal and professional life, which especially irks Stan, his business associate who often feels shut out of what is happening with their work. This privacy, which includes not letting anyone into his apartment and always telephoning his clients from pay phones is, in part, intended to control what happens around him. His and Stan's latest job (a difficult one) is to record the private discussion of a young couple meeting in crowded and noisy Union Square. The arrangement with his client, known only to him as "the director", is to provide the audio recording of the discussion ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Harry Caul will go anywhere to bug a private conversation. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1974 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La conversación  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (restored version)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Coppola had written the outline in 1966 but couldn't get financing until The Godfather (1972) became a success. See more »

Goofs

Given Caul's character, and his paranoid state of mind, I find it inconceivable that he would allow a dozen or so "colleagues/competitors" into his work space and allow them to poke around, leaving the critical tapes out in the open. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Passerby: Well, I want to go over to my place and start, you know, getting it on...
Ann: Oh, that's terrible.
Mark: Yeah. Do you ever, uh... ballet?
Ann: Be thankful. Do you have a quarter for them?
Mark: Yes, I do.
Ann: [gives it to street band]
Ann: What about me?
Mark: You'll see.
Ann: A lot of fun you are. You're supposed to tease me, give hints, make me guess, you know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Munich (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Five
(1959) (uncredited)
Written by Paul Desmond
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ingenious and frightening!
10 May 1999 | by (Sterling Heights, Michigan) – See all my reviews

"The Conversation" is a really great movie. I was quite surprised when I saw it. Not at how good it was, but how few people have seen it or heard of it. This is a classic suspense thriller, and a terrifying psychological horror film! From the opening credits, I, like the characters, was unsure of where I was going, or what the opening conversation (which is what the entire film is built around) might lead to. It seemed so unusually powerful, despite its masterfully simplistic execution. There is no overkill or excess in this film, nor is it under written or underplayed. It's just perfect! And I was even more surprised at how little was shown, and how much it could engross or frighten the hell out of me! My heart was racing, even though there was little action! This is the kind of film Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud to direct. The direction went to another master instead, Francis Ford Coppola. I felt ahead of the movie at its opening credits. But then, it blasted me and got miles ahead of me. It is an attack on our psyche and our fear, and it's amazing how, like the film itself, the conversation in the film that seemed so small and irrational could lead to something as big as it did!


133 of 173 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
40 years later,I still can't figure this movie out. olds1999
I KNOW where the tap is! Can't believe nobody figured this out! BartSamson
Worst murder plot ever. drdeaton_2000-1
where the tap really is yrag-3
Harrison Ford's performance brontlanders
'The Conversation' as a study in guilt, not paranoia rexamillion
Discuss The Conversation (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?