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The Conversation (1974)
A self indulgent mess - SPOILERS
I was recommended this movie on the Amazon Marketplace. It was rated extremely highly, and I wondered why I had never heard of it. I watched it two weeks later and discovered why.
LOTS OF SPOILERS: YOU ARE WARNED
A surveillance expert(Hackman)is on a case protecting two people who he believes are in danger of being killed. He records them using an adapted "state of the art" 70's cassette recorder. Amazing. Unfortunately, the actual conversation he records is of no interest or significance whatsoever. But that still doesn't stop him playing it back 13 times to the detriment of the now 'bored stiff' viewers. Wandering around the warehouse he keeps all his futuristic equipment(for the 1970's) mumbling to himself anxiously..........anyway!
Cue(suspenseful music in the last 15 minutes). Is there any suspense? No, of course not. Harry books himself into a hotel that is beside the alleged victims and tries to listen to whats going on next door. He then goes up to his directors office - who he finds dead . He died in a car accident. He then trashes his flat because he is so frustrated by the fact that he was bugged himself. Depressed Harry then plays his saxaphone. THE END
I have never seen Hackman in such a dull role, in such a self indulgent film. Francis is basically worshiping the "new" concept of bugging which was intriguing (especially round about the time of President Nixons scandal). I don't know why Francis Ford Coppolla didn't make a slightly faster paced movie, with more dialogue of interesting substance and an evolving plot which gripped the viewers concentration from the off-set. It is such a shame and such a wasted opportunity considering the high-caliber budget, director and cast.