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The Conversation (1974) Poster

Goofs

Jump to: Character error (2)  | Continuity (5)  | Plot holes (2)  | Revealing mistakes (1)

Character error 

Given Caul's character, and his paranoid state of mind, I find it inconceivable that he would allow a dozen or so "colleagues/competitors" into his work space and allow them to poke around, leaving the critical tapes out in the open.
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Opening scene in Union Square. The couple pause in front of the musicians, Cindy Williams breaks the fourth wall.
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Continuity 

Partygoers ride Stan's scooter around Caul's loft, but Stan had taken the scooter when he quit the day before. Stan came to the party in the car with everyone else so the scooter would not have been there.
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When Caul (escorted by Martin Stett) boards the elevator following a meeting with The Director, Caul holds the door open in order to complete an exchange (with Stett). Yet in the last shot of that sequence, it's Stett who's holding the door.
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When Harry Caul is in the elevator, you see the woman come in and three buttons are pushed. After stopping on a floor, a cut back to the shot of the woman and only one button remains lit whereas two should still be lit.
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When Harry is talking with Bernie in the workshop during the party, the chain on the device hanging from the ceiling is swaying vigorously, but when the scene cuts mid-sentence, the chain is now perfectly still.
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When Caul talks to Meredith in the warehouse alone, there is a shot when Caul leans against a column and asks "Are you still married?". At the end of the shot Meredith enters the frame from the right, only to lean against a column herself in the next shot and start the same motion again.
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Plot holes 

In one early scene Harry returns home without his raincoat, which he has worn everywhere. Another error is leaving behind at the Jack Tar his case with all his equipment. Finally, if he used pay phones for outgoing calls, why have a house phone at all? Didn't he know that a determined outsider (e.g. Harrison Ford) could find it?
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At the party in Caul's workshop, Stan describes the targets of a job only as "two people". At that time, Caul was at the far side of the shop, leafing through photos of them, many yards away - and obscured by fellow attendees and equipment - from a woman in the group who later asks, "What did they do...the boy and the girl?" Even had she been able to see the photos, there was no way she could have connected them with the subjects, no way she could have known their gender nor age. (She may however, knew about the job and merely slipped her tongue.)
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Revealing mistakes 

Presumably, the "conversation" was recorded over the noon hour. In the opening shot, the shadows are much too long for mid-day, even in winter.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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