HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Three Days of the Condor Bad Day At The Office
Year: 1975
Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow, John Houseman, Addison Powell, Walter McGinn, Tina Chen, Michael Kane, Don McHenry, Michael B. Miller, Jess Osuna, Dino Narizzano, Helen Stenborg, Patrick Gorman, Carlin Glynn, Hank Garrett
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Joe Turner (Robert Redford) works for a publishing company in New York City where they translate books into various languages, though he is well aware it is owned by the C.I.A. but doesn't know the specific reasons for what he is asked to do. He is intrigued, however, and wonders why, for example, a book that has not sold well in one territory should be translated into certain languages for which there wouldn't appear to be a market in those relevant countries. Mostly, he does what he is asked to, and if he shows up seventeen minutes late some days, he thinks he can get away with it because he's good at his job. Today, on the other hand, he will have to acquire new skills...

Three Days of the Condor opened with a terrific first act which everyone who has seen it will never forget: after spending the morning working and chatting to his girlfriend Janice (Tina Chen) Joe pops out to get the staff's lunches, and when he returns minutes later they are all dead, gunned down by an unknown assailant. It was an electrifying way to begin the movie since we know about as much as Joe does, and he cannot think of a reason why such an act would be carried out, spending the rest of the plot getting deeper and deeper into the conspiracy. Ah, there's that word, "conspiracy": this was one of the nineteen-seventies cycle of thrillers with that theme, prompted by the Watergate scandal.

Among other things, where certain citizens found themselves paid a lot of attention by the authorities, elevating the sense of paranoia that had broken at the end of the previous decade, mostly in the counterculture. Redford of course would make a film of the Watergate affair the following year, as the poster boy for Hollywood's thrillers in this vein for two movies at least, an image which followed him around to an extent as he went on to capitalise on that in later career efforts like Sneakers, Spy Game and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's easy to underestimate just how good he was at playing the hero as he made it look so effortless; director Sydney Pollack made sure to include character bits to have us see Joe is an ordinary, slightly rebellious guy who just happens to resemble a movie star.

Condor had something in common with perhaps the king of the seventies paranoia movies, The Parallax View in that they were both co-written by Lorenzo Semple Jr, a scriptwriter whose career went from the cleverer than you might think camp of the original Batman TV series and Flash Gordon, to the more serious minded but no less compelling Pretty Poison and Papillon, and this was one of the serious ones. There were a handful of chuckles, but mostly the feeling of an impossible situation closing in around the protagonist was one echoed in Parallax, only this led up to a low key, conversational climax that you cannot imagine anyone allowing a potential blockbuster to end on in the twenty-first century, far from the bleak punchline of the Warren Beatty film, yet somehow just as sinister.

Redford's co-star was Faye Dunaway, playing Kathy Hale, a photographer Joe captures on the street and forces to drive him to her apartment as a hideout what with the forces of the secret services hounding him. This relationship caused many to see allusions to Alfred Hitchcock, most patently The 39 Steps, although you cannot imagine Hitch allowing the narrative to get as convoluted as it does here, to the point where you're almost taking it for granted Turner has it all worked out in his mind. It was not all effective, as that surface gloss lent a colour supplement appearance to the inevitable sex scene, as if it were not difficult to believe Kathy would go to bed with Joe mere hours after he has tied her up in the bathroom while he goes off on his errands. Elsewhere, it nearly lived up to that opening: assassin Max von Sydow exchanging pleasantaries in the elevator, boss Cliff Robertson in his World Trade Center office pulling the strings until he begins to question his power. In the main this was a well-constructed, slick affair with just the right amount of doubt. Music by Dave Grusin.

[Eureka's Blu-ray in their Masters of Cinema line has a restored print and as extras an interview with an expert, a career documentary on Pollack, the trailer, an informative booklet and subtitles for the hard of hearing.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2414 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: