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Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

James Grady (novel), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,230 ( 199)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Turner
Faye Dunaway ... Kathy
Cliff Robertson ... Higgins
Max von Sydow ... Joubert (as Max Von Sydow)
John Houseman ... Mr. Wabash
Addison Powell ... Atwood
Walter McGinn Walter McGinn ... Barber
Tina Chen ... Janice
Michael Kane Michael Kane ... Wicks
Don McHenry Don McHenry ... Dr. Lappe
Michael Miller Michael Miller ... Fowler
Jess Osuna ... The Major
Dino Narizzano Dino Narizzano ... Harold
Helen Stenborg Helen Stenborg ... Mrs. Russell (as Helen Stenbure)
Patrick Gorman ... Martin
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Storyline

A mild mannered CIA researcher, paid to read books, returns from lunch to find all of his co-workers assassinated. "Condor" must find out who did this and get in from the cold before the hitmen get him. Written by Mike CO <mileco@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His code name is Condor. In the next twenty-four hours everyone he trusts will try to kill him. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

October 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

3 Days of the Condor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,509,797
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the coffee shop, Turner says that Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime. He did, in fact, sell one painting. See more »

Goofs

After killing Atwood, Joubert wipes down all the surfaces Condor touched, but forgets the record player behind Atwood's chair. See more »

Quotes

Joubert: Condor is an amateur. He's lost, unpredictable, perhaps even sentimental. He could fool a professional. Not deliberately, but precisely because he is lost, doesn't know what to do. Unlike Wicks, who has always been entirely predictable.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Los Angeles: Joyride (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
(uncredited)
Written by Edmund Hamilton Sears and music by Richard Storrs Willis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pollack Does Hitchcock
29 April 2004 | by dane11See all my reviews

Three Days of the Condor is a classic spy thriller with a bit of a twist, it takes place inside the U.S.A. There are no flashy locales, no super-hero types, and no ultra-menacing bad guys who spew cheesy dialogue; instead, we have a common man (Robert Redford) battling for his life in an uncommon situation. This is similar to Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest in its theme and intensity and Sydney Pollack pulls it off to perfection.

Robert Redford stars as Joseph Turner a "reader" for the CIA who finds himself on the run after everyone in his office is assassinated. Pollack wisely allows us to share in Turner's horror and confusion upon finding his dead co-workers. We witness his scramble for protection and his shaky call to the CIA Headquarters, as he demands to be brought in. The wheels start turning and it seems that all will be resolved, safely and quickly, but things don't go as planned. After a shoot out in an alley, Turner is seen as a possible rogue agent sending him into greater peril. Now everyone is out to get him. Only through quick, imaginative thinking and survival instincts can Turner stay ahead of those who are out to kill him.

In a moment of desperate improvisation, Turner kidnaps Faye Dunaway to elude his pursuers. This turn allows us to have someone else view Redford's character for us and provide a different intensity, a sexual intensity, to the film. Again, this is somewhat reminiscent of Cary Grant meeting Eva Marie Saint on the train in North by Northwest. But this story has more of an edge to it and Dunaway's character has greater depth and purpose than we imagine possible. She acquiesces to her captor's demands as she tries to understand him and learns quickly to appreciate him and the situation he's in.

Through Dunaway's help, Redford is allowed to meet up with the man (Cliff Robertson) who he believes is pulling the strings inside the CIA. The story turns more cerebral as we learn why Turner's office was hit and who was behind it. Furthermore, we understand how truly alone Redford's character really is. The audience is kept guessing through to the very end as to whether or not Redford's character will survive.

This is one movie that provides action and excitement coupled with a strong plot and solid characters. Max Von Sydow is excellent as a Joubert, a sophisticated, calculating, even-keeled assassin who is only doing what he is paid to do. Redford shines as a man whose entire world is thrown into violent disarray forcing him to fight for his survival. His ability to project his thoughts and concerns through his actions and facial expressions holds the audience to him.

While this movie does not have the overwhelming paranoid feel to it that a movie like The Parallax View had, it is stylish, convincing, and an intriguing movie. Sydney Pollack doesn't fill the scenes with deep shadows and hard camera angles, as some would do. Instead, most of this story takes place in broad daylight, which actually increases the tension. There's no easy place to hide, no dark doorways to duck into, no characters stepping out of the fog when we least expect it. Like Hitchcock, Pollack knows that exposing his hero to the light of day is to abandon him to his pursuers. The audience is pulled in right along with the Redford's character and we can't let go until we know we're safe.


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