OTB#72: The Conversation

Huh… that looks odd. Has this movie been cropped?

Nope; that’s 1.85:1.

Oh, I’ve seen this before! But it must have been a long long time ago. Perhaps on a VHS in the early 80s?

Heh, did Coppola start featuring Frederic Forrest this early? He cast him as leading man in the first couple of Zoetrope Studio movies, One from the Heart and Hammett, tanking them in the process. Man, that’s inexplicable casting…

Hey! I remember this scene…

Oh god. A surveillance agent that plays jazz at home? That’s his character?

Very techno.

I’m just… kinda bored with this movie already, and I’m just half an hour in.

That’s what I want my kitchen to look like!

It’s Han Solo!

Enhance! Enhance!

OK, it’s less boring now.

Bored now.


So Coppola got to make this (based on a script he wrote almost a decade earlier, after seeing Antonioni’s Blow Up) after the first Godfather movie was a huge success? This just seems really self indulgent — there’s moments of excitement, and then there’s half an hour of tedium.

The problem is that the characters are just so uninteresting. So they have dreams like this, which are devoid of depth or originality. It’s like an American kid’s idea of “art film”… which is what this is, given the Blow Up inspiration. (And then there’s the surveillance thing, which is what makes it a thriller.)

Very UK/US centred list…

Anyway, this is very much a movie of its time, and it’s got many of the stylistic tics that worked for other directors at the time. And it’s got some clever bits (and a couple stupid EC-comics/O. Henry like twists). But… it’s just not very interesting.

The Conversation. Francis Ford Coppola. 1974.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.

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