|Three Days of the Condor
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Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 04/11/2006 Run time: 117 minutes Rating: R
Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack continued their longtime collaboration (the actor and director have worked together on Jeremiah Johnson, The Way We Were, The Electric Horseman, and Out of Africa, among other films) with this taut spy drama. Redford plays a reader for U.S. intelligence who becomes a hunted man after he is not among the victims of a mass murder of his colleagues. Faye Dunaway does solid work as the frightened and mystified woman whom he forces to conceal him, and Max von Sydow is appropriately cool as a professional assassin. That same, sustained tone of danger and expectation that made Pollack's The Firm so much fun can be found in this 1975 thriller, albeit with an appropriate dose of post-Watergate paranoia. --Tom Keogh
- Three Days of the Condor
Received one installment from the pen of the
Late, Great SYDNEY POLLACK . . . I've promised
myself a copy --- for years . . .
UNCOMMON suspense and skill . . ....more info
- The invisible government! Where?
Whenever I see this movie I always hear Roger Daltry's voice singing, 'can you see the real me?' Which is what a less loquacious Robert Redford tries to do after what may be one of the top ten movie opening scenes of all time, 70's, 80's, 90's or beyond.
Earlier reviews have fairly well constructed and described the plot but what's interesting is the unbelievability of it. Sydney Pollack keeps the heat on and the emotional cul de sacs plentiful as Redford tries to whittle down not so much the who killed all his coworkers but the why.
I believe alongside "Bullit," "French Connection," "Body Heat" and a few others, this is an essential movie both for it's time and our time. In light of Vietnam and Watergate, we just didn't blindly trust Uncle Sam anymore and were frequently reminded of the protest idiom, 'love your country; fear your government.' And for a captivating two hours, Redford is 'everyperson' ever profiled, searched, audited, traffic stopped, drafted and perhaps far worse. We didn't have to read George Orwell to know big brother was and is watching.
Cliff Robertson, a gifted actor denied his peak years because of pseudo-administration influence (do you remember 'Flowers for Algernon/Charley?), ironically plays the government role, as you would expect, brilliantly, and Max Von Sydow, is as always, superlative. I agree with some of the criticism of Faye Dunaway. She did better in other roles than she did here. It could have been Meryl Streep or Glenn Close as well, possibly better.
Essential movie if you want to know what you're talking about. Larry Scantlebury. 5 Stars....more info
- Great movie
This is a great movie. I had it on VHS, but wanted to have it on DVD. Robert Redford is great in it, but he is great in most every movie. Enjoy...more info
- Terrific suspense and a brilliant screenplay!
This review is for the 1999 widescreen release by Paramount.
The story involves a man named Joe Turner (Robert Redford) who works in a New York brownstone building that poses as a private literature society when in fact its an undercover operation for the CIA. His job is decoding possible enemy secrets found in publications printed anywhere in the world. Turner runs an errand by leaving through the back of the building, and minutes later the office is raided by assassins and the 8 or so remaining employees are all killed. Turner returns to his office and finds his fellow employees dead and contacts his superiors at the CIA Headquarters. He begins to realize that things are not adding up and goes into hiding. As the film moves on, he essentially kidnaps a woman (played by Faye Dunaway) and with her help, they devote their time together figuring out what has really happened.
The movie is filled with twists and turns. Since Turner is an avid reader and has vast knowledge of intellegence operations, he does a magnificent job protecting himself as well as uncovering information about his advocaries. There is one unforgettable scene where Turner meets a professional assassin (Max Von Sydow) and the contract killer describes his work and with a straight face he mentions that he finds his job rather peaceful. This is definitely one of the best thrillers from the '70s.
The DVD picture quality is nearly perfect with occasional tiny spots of film wear, but it is nothing to be overly bothered with. The sound is superb.
DVD Quality: A-...more info
- Timely Drama
Though this movie was set some time ago, it is very pertinent to what is happening today. Unlike many of the special effects that are off the chart today, the down to earth physical attributes of the actors come across as if it could happen to any of us. I've always enjoyed Robert Redford's movies, it is a great opportunity to see what made him a great actor....more info
- This movie is very intelligent
I liked the plot and the technical twists and turns of this thriller. Robert Redford plays a cia employee who reads books to find possible codes. He finds patterns and trys to break them or alert the Cia to there existence. He comes across something that causes his whole office or team to be wiped out leaving him as the only survivor, because he was out to lunch. How he goes about trying to survive is very intelligent and entertaining. There is a dry romance between he and Dunaway. He is on the run and time is not on hand so there scenes are quick and to the point. I liked the dialogue it was also dry and to the point. It sometimes took a few minutes for it to sink in. A highly intelligent film with good entertainment value. Worth watching....more info
A good suspenseful movie about the spy game. Redford plays a CIA analyst who comes back from lunch [the diner is still on Lextington ave.] and everyone in the office has been murdered. The intent of the movie is to show us how evil the CIA can be, typical Hollywood left wing propoganda of the time, 1975. The CIA thinks someone in the office is a double agent so everyone must go. I hope they would be this efficient today. This movie wants the government to play fair in a very ruthless cold-war world. Redford just wants out but he doesn't know who to trust, and it appears the best result for the shadow government is to elimate Turner played by Redford. The idea is that our government will do whatever is needed to maintain our way of living as will all other governments, even killing innocent people to protect us. Boy I hope so. Did the CIA lie to President Bush to get us into Iraq? This is a suspenseful and entertianing film with a good cast Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow and Cliff Robertson. Where is this CIA today, instead of arresting terrorists they should be dumping them in land fills....more info
- GREAT FILM, UNIMPRESIVE POLITICAL VIEWS
Robert Redford made a clunker called "The Way We Were" with Barbra Streisand that desperately tried to explain, apologize for, justify, glorify and approve of being an American Communist during McCarthyism, but just plain fails. He made the 1973 classic "Three Days of the Condor" (1973), with Cliff Robertson and Faye Dunnaway. He plays a CIA reader, a kind of pre-Tom Clancy research guy, a benign fellow among other benign CIA fellows, all of whom are murdered in a fuzzily explained hit by bad CIA fellows. After escaping, Redford tries to get to the bottom of it. Since he is a genius he has the intellectual tools to outwit his chasers. This is the film's highlight, revolving around the sexual tension between Redford and the redoubtable Faye, who he "kidnaps" in order to have a place to hide out, her apartment. The movie goes off the deep when the whole conspiracy turns out to be about the CIA's covert operations in the Middle East, where the U.S. apparently is planning the invasion (that never actually occurred) to take over OPEC. The message is that The Company murders innocents, the U.S. is a warmongering empire, and tool of capitalist greed. It is Redford's answer to Guatemala, Iran and Chile, where the people killed were generally Communists. Redford would rather show the CIA killing Chinese- and African-Americans and other non-threats....more info
- Fiction immitating the future
An appealing spy thriller about a secret CIA plan to invade the Middle East in the era when Houston-based Halliburton was still called Brown & Root.
Jeans and tweed clad CIA agent Robert Redford tries to avoid death at the hands of CIA paid assasin Max von Sydow. A memorable closing scene: Reford asks von Sydow why he doesn't immigrate to the US. The old Swede (playing an Alsatian) replies that he prefers the calmness of Europe.
Fiction finally became reality in March 2003. We know now that the neo-cons had hatched a "Condor" plan in the seventies but it was nixed by Nixon. When W came to power, the neo-cons (Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Perle, etc) were finally able to put their unAmerican plan into effect. The rest is history....more info
- Better than Blockbuster
This is the second time I've simply purchased a DVD that's 'out of circulation' or not carried by any rentals like Blockbuster. Lord only knows why reruns of TV shows are easy to get but actual movies are not. Oh well, anyway it came on time, was undamaged and operated fine. Kudos....more info
- AN ADDICTIVE THRILLER.
"Three Days Of The Condor" is the fourth collaboration between director Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford, and they did a very addictive film. The movie is a thriller that is amusing, interesting and addictive from beginning to end.
"Three Days Of The Condor" has a very interesting cast. Of course, Robert Redford in the role of "Condor" is the highlight, but also appearing in supporting roles are: Faye Dunaway as Kathy, a small but significant character. Cliff Robertson as the enigmatic Higgins and Max Von Sydow as Joubert, a lethal and elegant assassin.
"Three Days Of The Condor" is a very amusing film with a lot of plot twists that will keep the viewer interested in the story. Pay special attention to the plot, because it's a very well structured story, "Three Days Of The Condor" is a clever movie, with good performances, this movie requires an active audience, because the plot is changing almost every ten minutes....more info
- Spy stories
There is a trend to portray American intelligence agencies as vile and evil. This was probably the first, but it is probably the most exciting and interesting. It is a lso a good picture of New York City as it was a quarter of a century ago and how things were when Robert Redford and I were both a lot younger. Even if I disagree, it shows the grounds for disillusionment of my generation....more info
- Entertaining...Fun.....But Not Too Intelligent
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***
I really enjoy watching this film. It has first-rate suspense and is definitely entertaining. I have seen it multiple times and will continue to watch it.
Having said that, I have to admit I laugh when I read critics (elsewhere) writing about how "intelligent" this movie is. Intelligent? Yeah, right.
Let's see. A man goes out to lunch and comes back to discover (after walking into an open front door that previously shuts and locks automatically) that all his co-workers have been murdered. Shortly afterward, he is shot at by a professional killer, who, conveniently, misses! OK. Now on the run, our hero (Robert Redford) kidnaps a woman at random in broad daylight and forces her at gunpoint back to her apartment. (Nobody sees any of this.) About two hours later, the woman is making love to the man and is instantly in love with him!!
It gets better. The man - a professional reader, a bookworm, instantly turns into James Bond and the woman is instantly transformed from a lonely, shrinking violet into an international spy, boldly breaking into the CIA and talking tough to an agent. Wow, yes, that sure sounds plausible to me!
Well, I''ll repeat one thing, for the readers here who forgot my opening paragraph and think I am panning the film. I am not. I like the movie. it's entertaining. It's fun to watch, and that's the name of the game. It's nice to see it's out on Blu-Ray.
- Great Pacing, Charismatic Stars, Timeless Suspense
I'm just getting around to seeing this espionage film. A young Redford scrambles to understand and outwit the unknown elements trying to eliminate him. Despite being over 20 years old, it doesn't have that dated feel that some films have.
The action grabs you without a lot of special effects and car chases. The scenes with the leading lady sizzle. Just watching Redford is a treat.
Of course, he was great in Butch Cassidy and in The Sting, so I don't know how I missed this one before. If you haven't seen it for awhile, treat yourself to a fresh viewing....more info
- Good Movie
Must see classic movie. Don't trust the government, they are here to help only themselves not you....more info
- Just as timely as ever
I first saw this movie back in college. Thought it was entertaining but
no real social relevence. I was wrong. This movie speaks of the Now. Would the U.S. actually invade another country to aquire Oil? Would we use another excuse like WMD, Terrorists, Liberating a middle eastern country? Send 4000 members and counting to thier death becaus of Oil
I think the answer is YES...more info
- The profound depths of CIA deception
Robert Redford does a fine job in his portrayal of unsuspecting CIA research analyst Joe Turner, code named Condor in the suspenseful espionage thriller directed by Sydney Pollack "Three Days of the Condor". Redford goes out for lunch for his fellow researchers in the Manhattan CIA station and returns to find them all assassinated. The hit team is coordinated by contract assassin Joubert played by a cooly professional Max Von Sydow.
This begins Redford's paranoic flight to come to grips with what has happened. He kidnaps the innocent Kathy Hale, a photographer played by Faye Dunaway, who he recruits to shelter him in her place while he figures out his next move. A meeting arranged with his station chief arranged by deputy CIA director Higgins played by Cliff Robertson results on an attempt on Redford's life. All the while he's being stalked by Von Sydow and his team of killers.
He realizes that there is a clandestine branch of the CIA running an operation which a speculative report filed by Redford had unwittingly revealed. The game of cat and mouse continues until Redford gets answers finally from Robertson. He however has no assurances that his life will be free of danger even after he reveals the mechanisms of the illicit operation to the press.
Sydney Pollack does an excellent job in representing the secretive tenor of government operations during a sensitive era in U.S. history replete with orchestrated coverups like Watergate. Using both New York and Washington as an effective backdrop he utilizes both locales to help fuel the complexities of the various twists in plot that add to the tension of the film....more info
- Fun thriller with an impressive supporting cast
Joseph Turner (Robert Redford once again as the all-American) gets to read for a living, analyzing texts for the CIA through the cover of the "American Literary Historical Society." When it's his turn to go out for everybody's lunch, he comes back to find them all dead.
From then on, Turner (code name "Condor") is on the run -- from the killers and from the government -- with only photographer Kathy (striking Faye Dunaway) his only, albeit reluctant, ally.
Setting Three Days of the Condor during the Christmas season does little to bring tidings of comfort and joy. But the script by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. (The Parallax View) and David Rayfiel -- and the direction of Sydney Pollack (his fourth of seven collaborations with Redford) -- deliver the right amounts of post-Watergate paranoia and intrigue.
As an enigmatic professional killer, Max von Sydow heads an impressive supporting cast that also features Cliff Robertson and John Houseman. (Keep an eye out for von Sydow's code name. It is a nice little in-joke connected to his appearance in The Exorcist.) The result in a fun thriller that, while very tied to its period, also reminds us that the priorities of the government have been the same for a long time. ...more info
- Great thriller, OK DVD
Sorry- are we reviewing the film or the DVD of the film? Unarguably a classic- the dvd I have is sad with nary a bonus feature. This movie could use a DVD do-over to take advantage of its continued popularity....more info
- good movie but....
slightly dated as spy thrillers go. good movie, but copy has bad spot. effectd area is not crucial to plot but is annoying. i have seen this bad spot on another copy. so i think this was a transfer problem....more info
- Shades of Valerie Plame and Brewster-Jennings
Joe Turner (Robert Redford) works at the American Literary Society of America (ALS House)...actually a CIA front located in Manhattan where research of an interesting kind is conducted. Turner and colleagues read everything that's published in the world, looking for new ideas, leaks, codes or indications of on-going foreign intelligence operations. Shortly after Turner sends a report off to Langley, HQ concerning a novel that did not sell well but nevertheless was translated into an odd assortment of foreign languages, the young CIA officer's life is turned upside down. Turner returns with lunch for the ALS House and finds everyone dead! Who committed the crime? I won't say, but the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame/Brewster-Jennings scandel isn't far off the mark. Probably the best and, sad to say, most realistic espionage movie ever made....more info
- The Spirit of November
When THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR was released in the mid-70s it was almost certain to be a hit because its two stars, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway, were about the biggest two male and female marquee names in the country. The opening scenario, where Redford returns from his lunch hour to see all of the staff in his Manhattan office (which at first glance seems to be a literary society) gunned down was considered quite sensational in its time and generated quite a lot of word of mouth.
The director, Sydney Pollack, doesn't seem much idea as to what to do with the conspiracy thriller genre, however: there's not much excitement, and even the famous opening scenario might have been more chilling had we seen only what Redford sees when he returns from getting his lunch (instead, we see the killers go through the office gunning everyone down one by one). Pollack seems much more interested in his stars than his story, and Faye Dunaway, as a woman Redford kidnaps while running from the killers, actually does some of her most interesting work in her career with her surprisingly small part. Sometimes called "the last of the great movie stars," Dunaway often played larger-than-life roles during the height of her stardom that seemed worthy of a goddess rather than of an actress. Here, even though the screenplay ridiculously calls for her to play nothing less than the spirit of the month of November ( you'll have to see the actual movie to see what that is supposed to mean), she does some very nice smaller-scale work and has some lovely naturalistic moments, particularly in a nifty little scene where Redford forces her at gunpoint to take a call from her boyfriend. Redford does not fare nearly so well, in part because his hairdo seems more of the star of the piece than even he does: expertly arranged and dyed, it never seems to move even when he's in furious pitched kung-fu battle with an evil mailman. His limitations as an actor are also brought home in his scenes with Cliff Robertson, who is so much more natural with his line readings that he seems in a different league altogether. Even though the budget for this was extremely high for the period, the Dave Grusin score is embarrassingly measly and cheap-sounding; it sounds more appropriate for the underscoring of a Quinn-Martin detective series of the time than for a big-budget film. Also starring John Houseman, who plays a CIA bigwig exactly as if he were playing Professor Kingsfield again (even down to the same bow-ties, tweed jackets, and vests)....more info
- Three Days of the Condor - Great!
This is one of Robert Redford's best suspense films. Paired with Faye Dunaway and Cliff Robertson, this film about intrigue in the intelligence community was a forerunner to today's "24." Highly recommended....more info
- Riveting political thriller
In "Three Days of the Condor" Robert Redford plays Joseph Turner a CIA analyst who spends his days reading books trying to spot possible operations that the CIA who tries reads books trying to spot covert operations. When the rest of his unit is assassinated, Turner code named Condor goes on the run. He's not sure if the CIA is trying to kill him or some other organization. To escape he kidnaps Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway)a woman who is renting skis for a vacation. Somehow Turner has to discover why his group was killed whether or not he can trust the deputy director (Cliff Robinson)of the CIA to bring him in and avoid the assassin (Max von Sydow)hired to eliminate the last member of the unit.
A riveting thriller with geat direction by film veteran Sidney Pollack ("Tootsie", "The Interpreter"), "Condor" has lost none of its power more than twenty years on. Although Paramount is stingy with extras (they usually are)giving us only the film and the theatrical trailer. The film looks pretty nice but could do with a commentary track from Pollack and a look back at this classic movie.
- Man on the Run
The strength of 3 Days of the Condor is in the role of CIA agent Condor, Joe Turner played by Robert Redford, a book reader for the CIA who finds the organisation he works for suddenly whipped out by a ruthless bunch of assassins led by the German Joubert, Max Von Sydow, in a famous sequence that is almost prophetic of the office rampages we hear about today in the news. Quickly phoning HQ, Condor is ordered to rendezvous with a pickup only to be speedily thrown into a game of cat and mouse with shadow agencies and his own competing against one another. Although there are some surprises in store, plot twists and the memorable tense elevator scene (did you drop these gloves sir?), 3 Days of the Condor is sadly let down by a lack of depth in the plot and some unconventional breaks in the pace, such as the overlong kidnapping background love story with Kathy, Faye Dunaway, and the Scooby-doo explanation ending that never really seems to answer much, leaving the viewer with a sort of half-satisfied explanation for the high body count shadow operations being witnessed. Although playing itself somewhat well to the tune of cold war atmosphere, this `man on the run' leaves many loose ends open and much to the imagination. This is mostly due to the very interesting confrontation between Turner and Joubert that is downplayed by the final scene where Condor confronts his boss.
With a high television replay count 3 Days of the Condor has shown itself to be a very popular movie and Redford does his bit well, bringing out the bookworm's military manoeuvres now and again, this is a 70s conspiracy thriller highlight, although there are now better and deeper movies that revolve around the same theme. The Bourne Identity/Supremacy is really where the game is at now. 3 Days of the Condor, although being on the run for a good run, takes a backseat to the new pace....more info
- This is my perennial favorite
Condor is one of my all time favorite movies. I try to watch it at least once a year--always on a rainy Sunday afternoon in November (to really get into the Condor setting, I suppose). I have watched this movie at least twenty times throughout the years, and think I fully understood it for the first time in the last viewing. There are so many nuances of the film that one needs to watch it several times to fully appreciate the film. ...more info
- After a remarkable tension build-up, it too light an ending
***** Contains spoiler ******
It's a work which has both very good and mediocre qualities. The build-up of the plot is just smashing. With well-paced action and competent acting, it's a remarkable work to watch.
Problem first erupts little when Redford kidnaps the lady. It is very difficult to believe that a lady would like to be part of the deadly problem Redford is in for just one night charm, no matter how lonely she is.
But the script does not do justice to itself when it converts a book reader into a first class professional spy to start wire tapping, entering other's home in clandestine, threatening people at gun point.
The justification to kill 7 of CIA's own people are all too wishy-washy as well.
Summarily, the good compact work of first half has been liquidated in the second because of a lose script.
- One of Redford's best; although anunderlying anti=establishment story raises its ugly head!
Ignore the background story; enjoy the "thriller" aspects - and be glad we live in a country that allows this type of commentary while acknowledging a need for the intelligence community !...more info
- A Classic Thriller and One of Redford's Best
This is my favorite 70's film. It has a superb script, great acting, and is tautly edited. When viewed today, it does not come across as a period piece, but as a good story well told. Three days of the Condor is one of those rare movies that do the book justice. (By the way, if you like the film, try the novel Six Days of the Condor. You get three more days.)
This is a timeless movie with great production values and all serious film collectors should have Three Days of the Condor in their home library....more info
- Dated and Often Bizarre Thriller Amusing only to Old People
Like probably most people who were born well after Watergate broke, I became interested in seeing this film after seeing it lumped in numerous times with other paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the era, most notably Coppola's The Conversation and Pakula's The Parallax View. Those are two outstanding films, and Pollack's effort doesn't hold a candle to either. This movie is a disaster. Despite a dynamite opening act and a somewhat intriguing conclusion, together with a modicum of timeliness and poignancy with regard to real-world goings-on at the CIA, the vast majority of the film is spent slogging through dated fight choreography, awkward sex scenes, and some of the most atrocious dialogue ever committed to the silver screen. Faye Dunaway is particularly off-putting in a muted and emotionally confusing performance as a photographer who always blathers on about metaphorical pictures she keeps hidden away and only lets some people see.
Only Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow escape unscathed from this silly, dated picture, resisting Redford's overacting and turning in fine performances (although Robertson's hair is perhaps the film's greatest mystery). To make matters worse, the soundtrack sounds like pornography, a perfectly awful mix of xylophone and smooth jazz.
For a much better time, please consider The Parallax View. If you have your heart set on Pollack, just watch The Firm, and you'll get the paranoia, the chasing and spying, and the pretty male lead, while what you sacrifice in political overtone you will gain in character development. I really thought I had something special when I took this home to watch it; it began with such promise. Truly it does not compare to the emotional wallop of Gene Hackman's Harry Caul, nor the mind-blowing psychadelic tension of Pakula's government coverups. Of this trio of would-be master Seventies spy storytellers, Sidney Pollack is the odd man out....more info