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The Conversation (1974)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Francis Ford Coppola Rating:8.0/10 (23 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Blunt on June 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by Blunt
Coppola is always good value for this who like serious, thoughtful comment and this is no exception. He's not going to have you rolling in the aisles but then neither is THE CONVERSATION, which I'd rank as his only second to the first two GODFATHER movies in his body of work.
Reviewed by Cinecdoche on May 22nd, 2009:Find all reviews by Cinecdoche
Details, details, details. It's amazing how rich Coppola's memory of this movie is considering how long after it was made he recorded the commentary. Francis lets you in on how the theme of the film invades even the smallest of minutia including set, costume or even a simple look by Hackman. Coppola has an easy intelligence and spending a few hours with him in your ear is not a chore. Besides his homage to Hitchcock, who knew Tennessee Williams was such an early influence? This is the type of film he thought he'd be making for the rest of his life. Interesting stuff.
Reviewed by reidca on July 21st, 2010:Find all reviews by reidca
Typically thoughtful commentary from Coppola that is great for fans or film students. He talks a lot about how the use of the unmoving, dead camera in this film - it is a passive eavesdropper.
Reviewed by grimjack on February 20th, 2021:Find all reviews by grimjack
Very talkative, but certainly not in a bad way. It feels like he is remembering the film, does love it, and wants to say as much as he can about it.

But about an hour and five minutes in, he gets to a scene that was very frustrating for him, so much that he wrapped early without finishing some location shots, and he begins to complain for a while. You can even feel the stress and discomfort in his voice. It is all rather telling about his process. And passion.

This is an extremely informative track about a very good and complex film. This commentary is a must listen if you even remotely like this film.

Stay until the very end if you want to hear his idea of where the listening device likely is. (As implausible as it sounds.)
Commentary 2: Supervising editor Walter Murch Rating:6.8/10 (14 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Blunt on June 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by Blunt
Murch is a very intelligent man who thinks very deeply about the crafts of both editing and sound, and this is a suitably interesting commentary track for a film which exploits these skills to the full.
It's technical for the most part but never impenetrable and fans of this particular film - which is relatively high brow anyway - should find it absorbing.
Reviewed by sedna on October 16th, 2012:Find all reviews by sedna
Decent commentary. Since Murch acted as both a sound mixer and editor you get insight from both. He mentions the advent of a perfect zoom and how this was one of the first films to achieve that. Goes into how he edited the film around a point of view of Harry. Style of the film and texture he tried to evoke. Some inspirations are listed. It's a very intelligent discussion no doubt, and the pacing of his speech can be sparse at moments.
Reviewed by Kgprophet79 on June 20th, 2013:Find all reviews by Kgprophet79
I found the commentary too sparse to be worth the time. Especially to the film school analysis given by Coppola, Murch seems to forget sometimes that he was supposed to be talking instead of just watching the film.

This unfortunately is a common problem with old filmmakers being asked to give details about a film shot over 20 years ago that they haven't even watched themselves for years.