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Past Films

The Conversation (1974)

  • Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 113 min.

The Science on Screen film series is a creative pairing of classic, cult, and documentary films with a post show discussion by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey (DRURY, Computer sciences/Security) will lead a discussion of the film.

Admission price is $9 for Adults /$8 for Seniors and Students Free for Members

Film Synopsis: The Conversation (1974) is the slowly-gripping, bleak study of electronic surveillance and threat of new technologies that is examined through the private, internalized life of a lonely and detached expert ‘bugger.’ The conspiracy thriller is an effective character study that exposes the emerging conscience of an estranged eavesdropper whose work once resulted in the death of three people. []

"A bleak and devastatingly brilliant film."
- Time Out
"Another great, landmark American film of the '70s. "
- Angie Errigo, Empire
"Gene Hackman excels in Francis Ford Coppola's tasteful, incisive 1974 study of the awakening of conscience in an "electronic surveillance technician."
- Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Coppola manages to turn an expert thriller into a portrayal of the conflict between ritual and responsibility without ever letting the levels of tension subside or the complicated plot get muddled."
- Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"As he is played by Gene Hackman in The Conversation, an expert wiretapper named Harry Caul is one of the most affecting and tragic characters in the movies. A taut, intelligent thriller."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Thanks to Walter Murch's keen, intuitive sound montage and Hackman's clammy, subtle performance, the movie captures [an] elusive and universal fear-that of losing the power to respond, emotionally and morally, to the evidence of one's own senses."
- Michael Sragow, New Yorker