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!

The Godfather: 50 Years

godfather_50One Week Only! Opens Friday, March 18!

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award®-winning masterpiece “The Godfather,” the acclaimed classic will have a limited theatrical release beginning Friday, March 18 at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito! Meticulously restored in 4K high dynamic range over three years under the direction of Coppola, the cinematic epic is a must-see on the big screen!

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the Don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.

“The Godfather” will play for one week only, starting on Friday, March 18. You can buy tickets at the box office or online. Don’t miss seeing this all-time great movie on the big screen!

“Suspicion” (1941) at the Cerrito on Thursday, March 17, at 7:00

Hitchcock’s two unforgettable characters—played by Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine—in “Suspicion” (1941), at the Cerrito on Thursday, March 17 at 7:00.

In “Suspicion,” Alfred Hitchcock brought together two vividly-created characters. Joan Fontaine plays Lina McLaidlaw, a shy young woman who seems fated to become an old maid; she also has a very wealthy father. Cary Grant plays Johnnie Aysgarth, a charming rogue who turns out to have a penchant for gambling. The two meet on a train; Lina is smitten; does Johnnie have an agenda?

Hitchcock utilizes his gift for suspense, by alternating moments of suspicion and moments of reassurance. Hitchcock and Grant hit it off professionally. Grant took possession of a darker character than in his earlier roles, a true test of talent that he might not have known he had.

As for Fontaine, she won the Best Actress Oscar as Lina for 1941, vindicating her loss of the same award the previous year for the somewhat similar character of Mrs. de Winter in “Rebecca” (also a Hitchcock film).

“Suspicion” was nominated for Best Picture for 1941, and also for Best Music in a Dramatic Picture.

Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Best Actress Joan Fontaine—what more would you want from a movie?

“Suspicion” will play only once at the Cerrito, on Thursday, March 17, at 7:00 p.m. Moviegoers are strongly advised to buy advance tickets at the box office or online, as the movie may sell out. All seats are $9.50. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and also order delicious food and wine or beer.

Upcoming Classics

Cerrito Classics usually play at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The price is $9.50 for all seats.

Coming soon

  • April 21 at 7:00, Cat Ballou
  • May 19 at 7:00, American Graffiti


Rialto Cinemas Cerrito requires proof of vaccination for all attendees age 12 and up. Please read the details of the policy here, on the Rialto web site.