Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1974. The Directors Company, The Coppola Company, American Zoetrope, Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. Cinematography by Bill Butler. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Music by David Shire. Production Design by Dean Tavoularis. Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Film Editing by Richard Chew. Academy Awards 1974. Golden Globe Awards 1974. Cannes Film Festival 1974.
This excellent mystery is one of the first films that comes to mind when you think of the glory days of seventies filmmaking, made by Francis Ford Coppola the same year as his unforgettable Godfather Part II. Gene Hackman stars as a wire tap expert who, while surveying a woman (Cindy Williams) who may be cheating on her husband, discovers that she might be in fear of actually being murdered by someone. The excellent script plays with preconceived conventions of storytelling and expectations and brilliantly uses them to its advantage in the last third. Hackman is terrific, but this is totally Coppola’s show and he has a fantastic time being a master storyteller.