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Old 01-31-2020, 12:18 AM
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Eavesdropping in film/tv


Eavesdropping like when a mechanic, working on the back of the RV in Race With the Devil, eavesdrops in on the two couples plotting their escape plans, or when the home invasion victim in Clockwork Orange listens in on Alex singing in the tub.
The incindental corollary of peeping tomming (not just peeping tomming, alone) will work here, like Kyle stuck in a closet in Blue Velvet.
No bugs, no electronics.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:09 AM
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Overhearing part of a conversation and wildly misconstruing it is basically every episode of Three's Company.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:03 PM
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HAL eavesdropping on Frank and Dave who are plotting HAL's unplugging. Is it technically eavesdropping when it takes the form of lip-reading?
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:39 PM
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A bit of listening in in You'll Like My Mother .

If I can quickly derail my own OP by mentioning in a John Cheever short story called "The Radio", about a couple who are able to listen in on all their apartment neighbours' conversations through their radio.

Slob-like Roger Thornhill eavesdropping at The House toward the end of North by Northwest.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest-starring: Id! View Post
A bit of listening in in You'll Like My Mother .

If I can quickly derail my own OP by mentioning in a John Cheever short story called "The Radio", about a couple who are able to listen in on all their apartment neighbours' conversations through their radio.

Slob-like Roger Thornhill eavesdropping at The House toward the end of North by Northwest.
Hah! an opening to mention the best movie ever made containing/about eavesdropping, The Conversation (1974).

SPOILER:
"He'd kill us if he could"

Last edited by peccavi; 02-01-2020 at 10:07 PM. Reason: "ever made"
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:29 AM
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Unfortunately bugs were involved to catch that line of dialogue, IIRC.

In one of the old Star Trek spin-offs someone places a relative behind a curtain to listen in on a sabotaging cousin. I'll have to look into the details a bit more.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:14 PM
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Shakespeare includes a lot of eavesdropping, and nearly all of his plays have been made into movies or TV shows, so should count. For example, Hamlet eavesdropping on Claudius as he prays.

At the other end of the scale, Bond eavesdrops on Goldfinger and overhears his entire plan. Looking that up leads me to a TV Tropes link on "exact eavesdropping," which is the most common way I can think of it happening in TV and movies.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:27 PM
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Shakespeare includes a lot of eavesdropping, and nearly all of his plays have been made into movies or TV shows, so should count. For example, Hamlet eavesdropping on Claudius as he prays.
Or Polonius eavesdropping on "To Be or Not to Be."
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:44 AM
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... If I can quickly derail my own OP by mentioning in a John Cheever short story called "The Radio", about a couple who are able to listen in on all their apartment neighbours' conversations through their radio. ...
An episode of Modern Family had the same premise, with a baby monitor.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:06 PM
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In The Thirty-Nine Steps, Pamela is about to turn in Richard Hannay to the man she thinks is a policeman when she overhears* the man talking on the phone and realizes that Hannay is telling the truth.

BTW, if you can see the stage play (a four-person cast!), do so. It's hilarious.


*On a stairway, where many important things happen in Hitchcock films.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:05 AM
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Pillow Talk has listening to phone conversations on a party line.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:54 PM
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Listening at Henry's office door or on Radar's phone is a common plot point in "M*A*S*H".

Housekeeper Emma getting interrupted while eavesdropping and missing some important words is a plot point in White Christmas.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:01 PM
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Eavesdropping in soap operas is a common occurrence.

And back in the 1970's, it was a frequent way for fictional characters on TV to discover they were adopted.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:30 PM
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Inadvertent eavesdropping is an important plot point in "Another Woman" by Woody Allen. Gena Rowlands character is a writer who rents an apartment for a quiet place to work. At a certain point, she realizes she can hear conversations from a neighboring unit through the HVAC duct. Turns out it's a counselor's office. This could have lurid possibilities, but Woody takes it in a different direction. "Another Woman" is IMHO an above average Woody Allen film, and I recommend it.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:03 PM
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Inadvertent eavesdropping is an important plot point in "Another Woman" by Woody Allen. Gena Rowlands character is a writer who rents an apartment for a quiet place to work. At a certain point, she realizes she can hear conversations from a neighboring unit through the HVAC duct. Turns out it's a counselor's office. This could have lurid possibilities, but Woody takes it in a different direction. "Another Woman" is IMHO an above average Woody Allen film, and I recommend it.

ETA: $%^&! 502 error!

Last edited by LLCoolL; 02-09-2020 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:05 AM
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I saw a classic one yesterday when rewatching my box set of Downton Abbey. The only way Bates hears that Anna has been raped is by eavesdropping on a conversation between her and Mrs Hughes.

It's a pretty lazy plot device though isn't it.
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