Three Days of the Condor – 1975
James Grady – novel
Lorenzo Semple Jr. – screenplay
Review by Wayne Malin
Dated but somewhat worthwhile,
Robert Redford plays a reference assistant for the CIA in New York. While he’s out getting lunch the entire staff are brutally shot to death. He comes back, discovers the bodies, calls the CIA…and soon discovers that they want him dead too. He has nowhere to turn to and the CIA after him…
The technology in this film is laughably dated (the dial phones and the computer search made me giggle) but, that aside, this is reasonably entertaining. It’s extremely well shot–NYC looks just great. There’s also some good acting–Faye Dunaway is just great as a woman Redford kidnaps; Max von Sydow is very good (and scary) as a killer; Cliff Robertson is just so-so as a CIA head and John Houseman is very commanding in his small role. I was entertained for 2 hours, but I can only give it a 7. The problems: the film was too long; Robert Redford gives another lousy performance; the dialogue is occasionally very bad (especially in the scenes between Redford and Dunaway) and there’s a very silly, needless romance and sex scene between Dunaway and Redford. Still, the film has its moments and might have had more with a better leading man.
The R rating on this film should be lowered to a PG-13. By todays standards the violence is pretty tame and there’s only fairly mild swearing.