peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2023 09 10 ThreeDaysOfTheCondor

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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A Robert Redford jag from Spy Game, prompted by some reviewers of that movie. Directed by Sydney Pollack. It's Christmas 1975 in NYC and somehow it hasn't been and isn't snowing. Redford works as some kind of bookworm/researcher for the CIA and when the revolution comes he's out to lunch. His apparent main squeeze, colleague Tina Chen, is the last up against the wall so while he shows us his improbably-mad field skills (for a shiny bum) he's on the lookout for a new one. She takes the form of Faye Dunaway, improbably driving a 1970 Ford Bronco. She eventually succumbs to male-fantasy Stockholm Syndrome (Robert Redford syndrome?) and pops out her most priceless line of all time: "Oh no, I'll help. You can always depend on the ol' spy fucker." It’s like a Le Carre without any attempt at or pretence to subtlety.

America in the 1970s has been so thoroughly documented on film that there's little to see here beyond the story. There is the odd lingering shot of the Twin Towers. Max von Sydow. Down with the CIA!

Roger Ebert: three-and-a-half all-too-believable stars. Vincent Canby. IMDB suggests: Marathon Man, The Parallax View — so, the paranoid aspect of the American polity.