Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Critic Consensus: This post-Watergate thriller captures the paranoid tenor of the times, thanks to Syndey Pollack's taut direction and excellent performances from Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.
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Critic Reviews for Three Days of the Condor
A piece of dotty, slightly paranoid intrigue. Three Days of the Condor promises little and keeps its word. It is hard to get indignant about it, or enthusiastic either.
Basically a B, it has been elevated in form -- but not in substance -- via four bigger names, location shooting and more production values. Sometimes the trick works, but not here.
Basically, the film is a throwback to the 60s anti-Bond spy thriller (a la The Ipcress File), except here the genre's annihilating irony has been replaced by Pollack's liberal piousness.
The action rarely falters, and at its best the film offers an intriguing slice of neo-Hitchcock.
Three Days of the Condor is a well-made thriller, tense and involving, and the scary thing, in these months after Watergate, is that it's all too believable.
Audience Reviews for Three Days of the Condor
Redford competently portrays a CIA researcher on the run --- from the CIA, even if he's a touch too jock to play a nerd. Dunaway is unusually restrained and thereby good as a casual interested bystander. And Von Sydow is (always good) a workman assassin. The plot doesn't bear close observation but it is hardly the point either. Paranoia is, and that aspect director Pollock maintains. So-so.
Classic 1970s espionage thriller that starts out surprisingly light-hearted until the shit hits the fan. From there on out it's still interesting enough to see things unfold, but there aren't a lot of particularly exciting encounters or scenes. Certainly a decent effort for its time, but to be honest, we've had much better since.
Movies this genuinely fun haven't been made since the 70s (except maybe the Coens' movies). Every action thriller from the 80s onwards got too polished and grand, loses touch with the characters. Holds up. Faye Dunaway is stunning and alarmingly hypnotizing.