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7 Remarkable 1970s Thrillers That Still Hold Up Today

6. The Conversation (1974)ConversationDirector: Francis Ford Coppola Cast: Gene Hackman, John Cazale. Robert Duvall Between The Godfather and Apocalypse Now was The Conversation. Francis Ford Coppola€™s 1974 film is still worth checking out. It€™s a film that takes its time. It moves methodically, paying as much attention to character as to plot. The Conversation features an engaging and offbeat performance by its lead actor Gene Hackman, who plays a surveillance expert who records a conversation by two people in a public square who are there in order to avoid being eavesdropped upon. The set up and execution of the mere recording of this conversation is fascinating and compelling filmmaking. John Cazale is Hackman€™s partner and Robert Duvall is the client. At its heart The Conversation is about a moral dilemma. Is there a murder in the works? If so, who? The Conversation takes its audience on Hackman€™s journey in deciding between his duty as a surveillance expert and his own conscience. Can he stand idly by while someone€™s life is taken? Like Play Misty for Me, The Conversation has a dark, raw feel to it. Its less stylized than Coppola€™s Godfather or Apocalypse Now, but more intimate and personally engaging. Coppola plays on the emotions of the viewer so well that there are times when the audience becomes uncomfortable watching Hackman, knowing what he knows. Throw in a terrific and unexpected ending and you have a film that delivers in spades.

Contributor
Contributor

Not to be confused with the captain of the Enterprise, James Kirk is a writer and film buff who lives in South Carolina.