Three Days of the Condor

Three Days of the Condor

Released: September 24th 1975

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Spinning out of the post-Watergate government paranoia, Three Days of the Condor is a political thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Robert Redford plays Joe Turner a low level C.I.A. operative whose job is to read books to look for possible C.I.A. connections. He is thrust into a deadly race against time when all of his colleagues are gunned down while he is out buying them lunch. He initially tries to work with the C.I.A. by using his codename ‘Condor’ to get in touch with them but he soon realizes that someone in the organization is responsible for the crime. Turner doesn’t have any superpowers or special skills except that he reads a huge amount. Anytime he does something that seems technically advanced he just refers to how he read about it in passing. He is an English major’s ideal hero. Turner kidnaps a young woman named Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway) who eventually helps him confront the C.I.A. This was the only part of the film that felt a bit unbelievable because she went from being his prisoner to his love fairly quickly. Throughout the film an assassin named Joubert (Max von Sydow) seeks to kill Turner in order to complete the original hit which claimed the lives of Turner’s colleagues. Later in the film Joubert is revealed to be oddly honorable for a killer. Turner eventually discovers the truth behind all of the murders and decides to bring his evidence to the press. The ending leaves Turners fate completely open as it isn’t explained if the press will run his expose or not. It is made fairly clear that if the press does not run the expose Turner will most certainly be assassinated. The ambiguity of the ending is an excellent part of the film and a piece of cinema that is largely missing in the modern day. This is a fantastic film and it’s an added bonus to be able to see how clearly this film influences Captain America: The Winter Solider, which Robert Redford also played a part in. It is currently streaming on Netflix if you need something to watch right now.

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