Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Conversation (1974)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Conversation (1974)

In Francis Ford Coppola's thriller:

  • the technical brilliance and mystery presented in the opening sequence in which an alleged adulterous couple (Ann (Cindy Williams) and Mark (Frederic Forrest)) (heard saying "He's not hurting anyone" - "Neither are we") in a crowded Union Square in San Francisco were under surveillance by wire-tapping expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman)
Tracking Adulterous Couple: Ann and Mark
  • the mesmerizing sequence in which Harry repeatedly replayed and disclosed the hidden dialogue on the audio tapes (Mark: "He'd kill us if he got the chance") - similar to a photographic scene in Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966) - and 'thought' he knew what would transpire
  • Harry's guilt-plagued obsession to follow the couple to the Jack Tar Hotel on Sunday at 3 o'clock (Room 773) for a startling murderous revelation, when he rented the next-door room, and then illegally entered the room and discovered evidence of a bloody confrontation - the murder of the "Director" (Robert Duvall), Ann's husband, who had originally ordered Caul to do surveillance on Ann
Revelations in Room 773 During Surveillance
  • the devastating ending as Harry sat amidst his destroyed apartment after receiving a phone call: "We'll be listening to you" - playing his melancholy-sounding saxophone with the camera encircling him

Surveillance Expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman)

Murder in Room 773 at the Jack Tar Hotel in SF

Harry in His Ruined Apartment: Conclusion


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