Monday 10 October 2011

Three Days of the Condor [1975]

The Watergate Scandal led to the making of a number of paranoia- laden conspiracy thrillers in the 70’s – Three Days of the Condor being one of them. Directed by Sidney Pollack, the movie is filled with tense moments, dollops of intrigue and a distinctly anti-authority stance. The movie had Robert Redford playing a CIA desk employee – code-named the Condor – who, upon returning from lunch one day, finds that all his colleagues have been gunned down. Out of his wits, he turns to his superiors, but it doesn’t take long for him to realize that they are the ones after him. Forced to be on the run by his faceless, cold-blooded enemies, he ends up taking a woman (Faye Dunaway) into hostage. However, once they befriend each other, she starts helping him in uncovering the truth behind the mayhem. The movie is imbued with fatalism, and the deglamorized production bestowed it with naturalism that managed to reiterate the murkiness of the proceedings and the otherwise mundanity of the characters. However, certain plot developments were too abrupt to be believable, as in Redford’s relationship with Dunaway’s character or his maneuvering with the telephone network. Flaws aside, Redford gave a good performance as an otherwise regular Joe thrown in the middle of a life-threatening conspiracy and cover-up. The movie’s most startling turn was however given by Max von Sydow as a mysterious assassin.

Director: Sidney Pollack
Genre: Thriller/Spy Thriller/Conspiracy Thriller/Mystery
Language: English
Country: US


Sam Juliano said...

I agree what you say here regarding some of the plot developments as disconcerting. As a result this film never quite came together for me, though I agree it has it's moments and properly transcribes the paranoia of the period.

Excellent piece here!

Shubhajit said...

Indeed. The movie had loads of potential, and in certain aspects & in certain phase, the movie did achieve greatness. But yes, on the whole it was a decent movie at best.

Thanks Sam!