A month from now (August 9th) Rialto Pictures will release into theatres a 50th anniversary restored version of Francis Coppola‘s The Conversation (’74).

A press release say “the original negative was accessed for the first time and scanned in 4K”…fine. And that the restoration has been “fully approved” by Coppola.

I’ve seen The Conversation four or five times over the last half century, and at least twice in HD over the last decade or so. I wasn’t aware it needed a restoration. The intrigue is in the sound design, of course. Visually it’s always looked fine — an assured, pro-level, run-of-the-mill 35mm film. Mostly urban (San Francisco) interiors, nothing exceptional. The highlight (hand in hand with the sound design) is the Union Square long-lens surveillance footage, etc.

I can’t imagine what kind of visual boinnngg! this restoration could possibly achieve. The film world certainly hasn’t been crying out for a visual upgrade. Okay, this new version might look slightly better…maybe. If it manages this, fine. All to the good.

“When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbin’ along…along!”