Monday, December 18, 2006

Dialogue I Love

“ Listen, my name is Harry Caul. Can you hear me? Don't be afraid. I know you don't know who I am, but I know you. There isn't much to say about myself. I - was very sick when I was a boy. I was paralyzed in my left arm and my left leg and couldn't walk for six months. A doctor said that I'd probably never walk again. My mother used to lower me into a hot bath - it was therapy. One time the doorbell rang and she went down to answer it. I started sliding down. I could feel the water starting to come up to my chin, to my nose, and when I woke up, my body was all greasy from the holy oil she put on my body. And I remember being disappointed that I survived. When I was five, my father introduced me to a friend of his, and for no reason at all; I hit him right in the stomach with all my strength. And he died a year later. He'll kill you if he gets the chance. I'm not afraid of death...but I am afraid of murder.”

The Conversation - Written by Francis Ford Coppola


Steve said...

Ah, The Conversation. One of the most shattering finales in cinematic history. I don't know if Hackman ever played this recessive before or after Harry Caul -- it's the only time I can recall seeing the total submersion of his natural cocksureness.

Jeff Duncanson said...

You and I are in agreement, then. This is easily my favorite Hackman performance. ( And I believe he is on record as saying it's his, as well). I pull "The Conversation" out every couple of years and watch it again. It's kind of a sad reminder that these types of movies were once made by major filmmakers, with major star, and nobody thought that it was unusual.