Parents' Guide to

The Conversation

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Classic Coppola thriller has suspense, violence.

Movie PG 1974 113 minutes
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Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

A fantastic and thoughtful psychological thriller

The story of a wiretapper plagued with guilt and the mystery of a confusing taped conversation, director Francis Ford Coppola and actor Gene Hackman perform at their absolute best to give us one of my favorite mystery-thrillers.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Coppola's The Godfather won three Oscars in 1973, and the same pragmatic, incisive, and emotional gifts displayed there are seen at work in this film. It's a tableau of restrained artistry in which Hackman delivers an intelligent and nuanced performance. He is an expert operating under the strictest self-control, yet he gradually comes to see that he controls nothing. Coppola, who also wrote the script, builds an increasingly menacing world in which the tools of Harry's trade turn against him. Using Harry's Catholicism as an ethical yardstick, the movie breaks down the man's self-serving position that what others do with the neutral work he performs for them is their business. Yet, having caused harm without meaning to once before, he is stricken with conscience when it threatens to happen again. It's as if Coppola has constructed a compelling moral universe that permits first mistakes but punishes repeat offenses. When Harry's work seems to cause harm again, he descends into his worst nightmare -- he himself becomes a subject under scrutiny. The question we are left with in The Conversation is whether Harry will survive or crumble under the resulting despair. Robert Duvall, who appeared in The Godfather and Coppola's Apocalypse Now, appears in an uncredited cameo. The movie won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or and received a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

Movie Details

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