Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation”

One week only! Opens March 25!

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito is showing Francis Ford Coppola’s newly-restored “The Conversation” beginning Friday, March 25. This film, released in 1974 (two years after “The Godfather”), was nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound. It’s set in San Francisco, and features location shots of The City from that bygone era.

Gene Hackman plays Harry Caul, a professional eavesdropper who, ironically, is protective of his own privacy to the point of paranoia. He’s hired to record a conversation between two people in the middle of busy Union Square. It’s a difficult job, in a public place with lots of ambient noise, but Caul is the best in the business. Using all his expertise, he succeeds in getting a usable recording, but he hears in it something that disturbs him. He finds himself in an ethical dilemma about his work, which ends up endangering several people’s lives and security, including his own.

The Guardian’s review of “The Conversation” calls it “an immaculate thriller, a study in paranoia and loneliness, long in gestation, partly inspired by Antonioni’s Blow-Up, and released as the Watergate scandal was unfolding,” and says “it features one of Gene Hackman’s greatest performances as Harry Caul, a San Francisco surveillance expert, a guilt-ridden, intensely private man devoted to anonymity and ethical neutrality.” Time Out’s review calls it a “devastatingly brilliant film.”

“The Conversation” will play for one week only, starting on Friday, March 25. You can buy tickets at the box office or online. Don’t miss seeing this materpiece on the big screen!