Gene Hackman in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" (1974)

The Conversation (1974) Written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Gene Hackman as Harry Caul and John Cazale as Stan (not pictured).

Stan: I can’t see why a couple of questions about what the hell’s going on can get you so outta joint.
Harry: ‘Cause I can’t sit here and explain the personal problems of my clients.
Stan: It wouldn’t hurt if you filled me in a little bit once in a while. Did you ever think of that?
Harry: It has nothing to do with me and even less to do with you.
Stan: It’s curiosity. Did you ever hear of that? It’s just goddamn human nature.
Harry: Listen. If there is one surefire rule that I have learned in this business is that I don’t know anything about human nature. I don’t know anything about curiosity. I don’t… that’s not part of what I do. What I… this is my business.

6 Responses to “The Conversation (1974)”

  1. Well, this is a stone-cold American masterpiece.

  2. Agreed, Sam. This movie is incredible.

    And Gene Hackman is brilliant in it.

  3. Sam nailed it.

  4. I know it was a really competitive year (subject of the next Oscar podcast!) but how did Hackman not get a nomination for this? He’s wonderful.

  5. I think it’s one of those performances that people just take for granted. It’s so good and the actor disappears into the character so seamlessly that people don’t even realize it.

    Hackman has a lot of those types of performances under his belt. He’s one of my all-time favorites.

  6. What’s especially great about this one is it’s different from his others. It’s almost odd seeing him playing someone so closed off and reserved and conservative.

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