Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Directed by Sydney Pollack
Based on the novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady
Screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Rayfiel
Starring: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow
Joseph Turner (Redford) reads books for a living. His job is made more interesting since he’s reading them for the CIA. When he uncovers a possible conspiracy, he files a report that ends up setting off a deadly chain of events. Now Joseph is on the run, seeking answers from people he thought were on the same side. Along with his newly recruited accomplice (Dunaway), Turner is hoping to stay alive long enough to uncover the truth.
This film came from the 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady (Legacy). The novel was adapted for the screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Papillon) and David Rayfiel (Sabrina). Director Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) took on the film. The cast includes Robert Redford (The Sting), Faye Dunaway (Network), Cliff Robertson (Charly), and Max von Sydow (Shutter Island).
This story is an interesting take on corruption within the government. The release was timed nicely, following the real-life scandal surrounding Watergate. The movie starts off quickly, and moves forward with nice speed thanks to a mix of action and intrigue. The dialogue is also nicely written, leaving a lot of room for the action to tell the story. One of the nice aspects of the story is the excellent sense of frustration built into Redford’s character. The movie also works with a number of twists throughout the story. Unfortunately, some of these twists come out a bit predictably. Overall this is a good story with some nice moments.
The acting in this movie is good from the main stars in the film. Redford does a nice job as the office worker turned field agent. He was able to nicely translate his character’s frustration onto the screen. Redford and Faye Dunaway also have nice chemistry between the two of them. On her own, Dunaway does a nice job in this movie, but it’s nothing spectacular. Her role suffers from a lack of clarity at times, leaving you guessing about her desires and expectations. Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow also do good work in their roles in this movie. Some of the supporting cast is a bit weak, but nothing that hurts the overall feel of the film. As a whole, this is a good cast that does a nice job with the film.
The production of this movie features some great camera work and interesting choices in location. The lighting throughout the film has great effect on the overall feel of the story. The editing is also nicely done, allowing the action and suspense to remain intact. This also earned the film its only Oscar nomination for Best Editing. The costuming and other visual aspects of this movie are all nicely handled.
This movie features an interesting albeit predictable story. Fortunately, the acting and the resolution of the film are worth checking this one out. For fans of Pollack or any of the stars, this is one to see. I would also suggest this to fans of spy or espionage films. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.