The Conversation (1974)

PG
The Conversation
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TitleThe Conversation
Year1974
CountryUSA
GenreThriller (Movies)
Run Time1h 53 min
Director

Surveillance expert Harry Caul, who runs his own company in San Francisco, is obsessed with his own privacy. His apartment is almost bare behind its triple-locked door and burglar alarm, he uses pay phones to make calls, claims to have no home telephone, and his office is enclosed in a chain-link cage in a corner of a much larger warehouse. He has no friends, his girlfriend Amy knows little about him, and his sole hobby is playing along to jazz records on a tenor saxophone alone in his apartment. Caul insists that he is not responsible for the actual content of the conversations he records or the use to which his clients put his surveillance activities. He is racked by guilt, though, over a past wiretap job following which three people were murdered. This sense of guilt is amplified by his devout Catholicism.

Caul, his colleague Stan, and some freelance associates have been tasked with bugging the conversation of a couple as they walk through crowded Union Square in San Francisco, surrounded by a cacophony of background noise. Amid the small talk, the couple discusses fears that they are being watched, and mentions a discreet meeting at a hotel room in a few days. The challenging task of recording this conversation is accomplished by a number of surveillance operatives located in different positions around the square. After Caul has merged and filtered the different tapes, the final result is a sound recording in which the words themselves are clear, but the meaning is ambiguous.

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Date of download: 2015-11-11T17:22:34+00:00

The Conversation
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Surveillance expert Harry Caul, who runs his own company in San Francisco, is obsessed with his own privacy. His apartment is almost bare behind its triple-locked door and burglar alarm, he uses pay phones to make calls, claims to have no home telephone, and his office is enclosed in a chain-link cage in a corner of a much larger warehouse. He has no friends, his girlfriend Amy knows little about him, and his sole hobby is playing along to jazz records on a tenor saxophone alone in his apartment. Caul insists that he is not responsible for the actual content of the conversations he records or the use to which his clients put his surveillance activities. He is racked by guilt, though, over a past wiretap job following which three people were murdered. This sense of guilt is amplified by his devout Catholicism.

Caul, his colleague Stan, and some freelance associates have been tasked with bugging the conversation of a couple as they walk through crowded Union Square in San Francisco, surrounded by a cacophony of background noise. Amid the small talk, the couple discusses fears that they are being watched, and mentions a discreet meeting at a hotel room in a few days. The challenging task of recording this conversation is accomplished by a number of surveillance operatives located in different positions around the square. After Caul has merged and filtered the different tapes, the final result is a sound recording in which the words themselves are clear, but the meaning is ambiguous.

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