Gene Hackman officially announced that he had retired from acting in 2008. Prior to that, his last feature film appearance was in the 2004 comedy Welcome to Mooseport. So an entire generation of film lovers have grown up in an era devoid of the man's immense talents. Now, this March they'll get to see what they're missing when the Two-Time Oscar winner returns to theaters in Francis Ford Coppola's classic The Conversation for the first time since its release in 1974.
Award-winning New York-based specialty distributor Rialto Pictures is bringing Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation back to theaters. The 1974 thriller, starring Gene Hackman and winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, opens March 20 at New York's Film Forum and Landmark's Nuart Theatre in L.A., with newly struck 35mm prints personally supervised by Coppola. The rollout also offers theaters an alternate DCP restoration remixed in Dolby 5.1 by legendary sound designer Walter Murch, along with a brand new poster and trailer.
"I've always been especially proud of The Conversation, partly because it was from my own original story and screenplay. I count it among the most personal of all my films and I'm happy the movie became the very thing it was about - invasion of privacy and its erosive impact on both victims and perpetrators. This was my goal when I conceived it over 40 years ago, and to my surprise, the idea still resonates today. I'm glad Rialto is bringing the film back to theaters so people can experience it the way it was first presented, on the big screen."
In addition to winning the top prize at Cannes, The Conversation was nominated for three Academy Awards® (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound) and four Golden Globes® (Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay), and garnered accolades and nominations from the BAFTA Awards, the National Board of Review, and a Best Director award from the National Society of Film Critics. The Conversation stars five-time Academy Award nominee Gene Hackman in one of his greatest roles as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert who finds himself caught up in murder.
The astonishing supporting cast includes such future luminaries as John Cazale ("Fredo" of Coppola's first two Godfather films), Cindy Williams (later star of TV's Laverne & Shirley), Frederic Forrest (Coppola's Apocalypse Now), Teri Garr (Young Frankenstein), and Harrison Ford (three years before Star Wars). In 1995, The Conversation was selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
A masterpiece of societal paranoia in the guise of a techno-thriller, The Conversation follows lonely wiretapping expert and devout Catholic Harry Caul (Hackman), who is hired to record a seemingly innocuous conversation between two lovers (Forsythe and Williams) in San Francisco's Union Square. Upon re-hearing the tapes, however, Caul believes he may be putting the couple in danger if he turns the material over to his client (Robert Duvall, in an unbilled cameo). But what one hears can ultimately turn out to be quite different from what was actually recorded.
The Conversation was written, produced and directed Coppola, with Fred Roos as co-producer, music by David Shire, production design by Dean Tavoularis, and cinematography by Bill Butler.
- Current Play Dates (More Dates to Come):
- March 20 - April 2 New York, NY | FILM FORUM (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford Coppola)
- March 20 - 26 Los Angeles, CA | LANDMARK'S NUART THEATRE (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford
- March - 20 Berkeley, CA | BAMPFA (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford Coppola)
- April 3 - 5 Portland, OR | THE HOLLYWOOD THEATRE (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford Coppola)
- April 5- Houston, TX | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA LACENTERRA
- April 5 - Lubbock, TX | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA
- April 5 - El Paso, TX | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA MONTECILLO
- April 6 - 9 - Durham, NC | THE CAROLINA THEATRE
- April 10 - 12 - Minneapolis, MN | THE TRYLON CINEMA (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford Coppola)
- April 10 - 16 - Boston, MA | LANDMARK'S KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA
- April 17 - 23 - Washington, DC | LANDMARK'S E STREET CINEMA
- May 2 - 3 - Dallas, TX | THE TEXAS THEATRE
- May 22 - 24 & 26 - Austin, TX | AUSTIN FILM SOCIETY (New 35mm Print Supervised by Francis Ford Coppola)
- June 12 - 14 - Santa Fe, NM | CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS
- July 20 - Princeton, NJ | PRINCETON GARDEN THEATRE
For more information on Rialto Pictures' re-release of The Conversation, please visit: Rialto Pictures.
Founded in 1998 by Bruce Goldstein and joined by partner Adrienne Halpern a year later, Rialto Pictures is a pioneer in distributing restored classics. The company has been honored with retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the Moving Image, Film at Lincoln Center, and the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles. Most recently, Rialto Pictures received the 2020 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics for distributing restorations of classic pictures.