Working as a researcher for the CIA, Joe Turner (Redford) is part of a small team who analyse reading material from around the world, looking for hidden codes and new ideas. Returning from lunch one day, however, Turner discovers that the whole team has been murdered after they were paid a visit by a mysterious assassin (von Sydow). Turner, codenamed Condor, calls the hit in to his superiors, but soon more men are sent to make attempts on his life, leaving him unsure of who he can trust…
A nervy ’70s paranoia piece, Three Days Of The Condor is rightly considered alongside Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and Alan J. Pakula’s The Parallax View as a conspiracy thriller classic. Undoubtedly, it’s noticeably dated at times (the funky score, the ‘steamy’ sex scene), but seeing Robert Redford’s untrained bookworm trying to stay ahead of Max Von Sydow’s cold professional often makes for gripping viewing. Appropriately low-key and serious, filmmaker Sydney Pollack ensures that the we feel Turner’s justifiable paranoia (see the scene where a woman approaches with a pram), while there’s top support from Cliff Robertson as a shifty CIA superior and Faye Dunaway as the woman Condor forces to help him.
A nervy ’70s paranoia piece, Three Days Of The Condor is rightly considered alongside The Conversation and The Parallax View as a conspiracy thriller classic.