Reactions to The Conversation

It is fair to say that our first CFS Extra film of the season, The Conversation, divided opinion. Nonetheless, it received an appreciation score of 71 per cent, which is more than Breathless or Funny Face got last year. And 11 times as many people gave it an A as gave it an E.

Some positive comments:

  • “Absolutely loved it: great choice!”
  • “Stacks up well after 40 years: excellent!”
  • “Riveting performance from Hackman.”
  • “Nice pace and shots.”
  • “Well acted, very atmospheric.”
  • “I enjoy the mix of old and new films and like the idea of being able to discuss them.”

Among the more critical comments:

  • “Didn’t like it; didn’t understand it; two wasted hours in my opinion.”
  • “Two slow, not enough dialogue, unclear plot.”
  • “Dated, tedious.”
  • “Tedious and depressing, despite Gene Hackman’s performance.”

Meanwhile, lots of people got the answer to our little conundrum about how sound editor Walter Murch changed a line of dialogue to make the plot work.

All the way through the film, we hear Frederic Forrest say “He’d kill us if he had the chance.” But when that bit of film and dialogue is played again in the twist at the end of the film, he says “He’d kill us if he had the chance”, with the clear implication that “we’re going to kill him first”.

We’ll try and think of another puzzle for next time.