Movies From the Hat IV #30 – David’s Pick – The Conversation (1974)


This is my 2489th Review

Thanks to David of That Moment In for this recommendation.


220px-theconversation “I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of murder. ” – Harry

Number of Times Seen – 2 (5 Nov 1999 and 6 Sep 2016)

Brief Synopsis – A surveillance specialist fears that his latest job will result in the murder of two people and tries to figure out how to stop that from happening.

My Take on it – It’s always fun to watch a movie that was made years ago that still has relevance today.

This movie is a perfect example of that because as much as people in the 70’s were (rightfully) paranoid about government agencies spying on them, even more people believe it to be a possibility today with the advances in technology that have happened in the 42 years since this was made.

Gene Hackman is great here because his character is suppose to be keeping a very low profile, but in reality too many people know too much about him and his life which makes it all seem quite ironic for someone with his kind of background.

The fact that this is a thriller which works more on our fear of surveillance than actual surveillance itself makes it even more interesting to watch because it gives us all lots of tension based solely on our own thoughts on the fear of it all.

There isn’t any real proof of this, but I loved the fact that Hackman plays a very similar character to this one in Enemy of the State (1998) and it is quite conceivable that the character is meant to be the same.

I actually like to believe that this is true because it gives even more depth to the character if we know more about what will happen to him 20+ years in the future, we get to see how much he has changed and how much he has stayed the same.

This is proof that a low-key thriller can work in ways we never could have expected.

Bottom Line – Excellent depiction of the surveillance sector of the world.  Given that this movie is 40+ years old, it’s amazing how much hasn’t changed much with regard to the paranoia and ease of this happening. Hackman is great here because he plays the character so low-key despite every other character knowing so much about him.  Loved the way that this is a thriller that depends more on our fear of surveillance then of the actual surveillance itself which adds even more to the tension of it all.  Despite there really being no concrete proof that this is connected to Enemy of the State (1998), I like to believe that they really are the same character because it gives more depth to the character knowing an event from his future 24 year on. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – As Harry refines and re-refines the recording, he interprets what he hears in different ways. In fact, the dialog was recorded multiple times with different readings to get this effect.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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6 thoughts on “Movies From the Hat IV #30 – David’s Pick – The Conversation (1974)

  1. Love this movie too. You’re right, it’s still important today and still holds up. So exciting at parts. Love the direction too. Hackman is fantastic. I like how you point out his role in Enemy, it’s a great homage, but I prefer to think of it your way. Great observation! I wanna watch both of these movies again. Thanks for highlighting this one! Good pick from David 🙂

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