|Three Days of the Condor|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sydney Pollack|
|Produced by||Stanley Schneider|
|Based on|| Six Days of the Condor |
by James Grady
|Music by||Dave Grusin|
|Edited by|| Don Guidice |
Fredric Steinkamp (sup)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$41,509,797 (US) or $32.7 million|
Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow.The screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Rayfiel was based on the 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady.
Set mainly in New York City and Washington, D.C., the film is about a bookish CIA researcher who comes back from lunch one day to discover his co-workers murdered, and tries to outwit those responsible. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Semple and Rayfiel received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.
Joe Turner (Robert Redford) is a bookish CIA analyst, code named "Condor". He works at the American Literary Historical Society in New York City, which is actually a clandestine CIA office. The seven staff members read books, newspapers, and magazines from around the world, looking for hidden meanings and other useful information. Turner files a report to CIA headquarters on a thriller novel with some strange plot elements, noting the unusual assortment of languages it has been translated into (despite not selling well).
On the day Turner is expecting a response to his report, he steps out through a back basement door to pick up staff lunches at a nearby deli. Meanwhile, armed men enter the office and murder the other six staffers. Turner returns to find his coworkers dead; frightened, he grabs a gun and exits the building.
He contacts the CIA's New York headquarters in the World Trade Center from a phone booth and is given instructions to meet Wicks, his head of department, who will bring him to safety. But the rendezvous is a trap. Turner insists that Wicks bring somebody familiar, since "Condor" has never met his departmental head. Wicks brings Sam Martin, a college friend of Turner, who is also a non-field employee of the CIA. Wicks attempts to kill Turner, who wounds his superior before escaping. Wicks kills Turner's friend to eliminate a witness. Taken into hospital Wicks blames Turner for both shootings, before his own life support system is turned off by an intruder.
Turner encounters a woman, Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), and forces her to take him to her apartment. He holds Hale hostage while he attempts to figure out what is happening. Hale slowly comes to trust Turner, and they become lovers.
However, Joubert (Max von Sydow), a European who led the massacre of Turner's co-workers, discovers Turner's hiding place. He visits Martin's building and spends some tense moments in the elevator with Turner once the other passengers have left. After Turner leaves the building Joubert tries to shoot him but Turner manages to blend into a small crowd. Soon after, a hitman (Hank Garrett) disguised as a mailman arrives at Hale's apartment, but Turner manages to kill him.
No longer trusting anyone within "the Company", Turner plays a cat-and-mouse game with Higgins (Cliff Robertson), the deputy director of the CIA's New York division. With Hale's help, Turner abducts Higgins, who identifies Joubert as a freelance assassin who has undertaken assignments for the CIA. Back at his office, Higgins discovers that the "mailman" who attacked Turner worked with Joubert on a previous operation. Their CIA case officer was Wicks.
Meanwhile, Turner discovers Joubert's location by utilizing his US Army Signals Corps training to trace a phone call. Turner also learns the name and address of Leonard Atwood (Addison Powell), CIA Deputy Director of Operations for the Middle East. Turner confronts Atwood at the latter's Washington D.C.-area mansion, interrogates him at gunpoint, and learns that Turner's original report filed to CIA headquarters had provided links to a rogue operation to seize Middle Eastern oil fields. Fearful of its disclosure, Atwood privately ordered Turner's section be eliminated.
As Atwood confirms this, Joubert enters and unexpectedly kills the CIA deputy director. Atwood's superiors had hired Joubert to stage the suicide of someone who was about to become an embarrassment, overriding Atwood's original contract for Joubert to kill Turner. Joubert suggests that the resourceful Turner leave the country and even become an assassin himself. Turner rejects the suggestion but heeds Joubert's warning that the CIA will try to eliminate him as another embarrassment, possibly entrapping him through a trusted acquaintance.
Back in New York, Turner has a rendezvous with Higgins near Times Square. Higgins describes the oilfield plan as a contingency "game" that was planned within the CIA without approval from above. He defends the project, suggesting that when oil shortages cause a major economic crisis, Americans will demand that their comfortable lives be restored by any means necessary. Turner points to The New York Times building and says he has "told them a story." Higgins is dismayed, asking Turner, "What have you done?" He then tells Turner that he is about to become a very lonely man, and he questions whether Turner's whistleblowing will really be published. "They'll print it," Turner defiantly replies. However, as "Condor" turns away, Higgins calls out "How do you know?"
Three Days of the Condor was filmed in various locations in New York City (including the World Trade Center, 55 East 77th Street, Brooklyn Heights, The Ansonia, and Central Park), New Jersey, and Washington D.C. (including the National Mall).
The film earned $8,925,000 in theatrical showings in North America.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 87% of 45 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review, and the average rating was 7.24/10; the site's consensus is: "This post-Watergate thriller captures the paranoid tenor of the times, thanks to Sydney Pollack's taut direction and excellent performances from Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway."
When first released, the film was reviewed positively by New York Times critic Vincent Canby, who wrote that the film "is no match for stories in your local newspaper", but it benefits from good acting and directing.Variety called it a B movie that was given a big budget despite its lack of substance. Roger Ebert wrote, "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."
John Simon wrote how the book, Six Days of the Condor , had been rewritten for the film:
That the action has been relocated from sleepy Washington to furious New York City, almost all names have been changed, that the plot has been vastly over-complicated, is of lesser interest than a straight genre film, has been overloaded into an elegy of private, political, and finally, cosmic pessimism, a kind of national, if not metaphysical, guilt film to enchant the disenchanted.
In closing his review, Simon said the lesson he derived from the film was, "we must be grateful to the CIA: it does what our schools no longer do - engage some people to read books."
French philosopher Jean Baudrillard lists the film as an example of a new genre of "retro cinema" in his essay on history in the now influential book, Simulacra and Simulation (1981):
In the 'real' as in cinema, there was history but there isn't any anymore. Today, the history that is 'given back' to us (precisely because it was taken from us) has no more of a relation to a 'historical real' than neofiguration in painting does to the classical figuration of the real...All, but not only, those historical films whose very perfection is disquieting: Chinatown, Three Days of the Condor, Barry Lyndon , 1900, All the President's Men , etc. One has the impression of it being a question of perfect remakes, of extraordinary montages that emerge more from a combinatory culture (or McLuhanesque mosaic), of large photo-, kino-, historicosynthesis machines, etc., rather than one of veritable films."
Some critics also described the film as a piece of political propaganda, as it was released soon after the "Family Jewels" scandal came to light in December 1974, which exposed a variety of CIA 'dirty tricks'. However, in an interview with Jump Cut , Pollack explained that the film was written solely to be a spy thriller and that production on the film was nearly over by the time the Family Jewels revelations were made, so even if they had wanted to take advantage of them, it was far too late in the filmmaking process to do so. He said that despite both Pollack and Redford being well-known political liberals, they were only interested in making the film because an espionage thriller was a genre neither of them had previously explored.
I didn't want this picture to be judged; it’s a movie. I intended it always as a movie. I never had any pretensions about the picture and it’s making me very angry that I'm getting pretensions stuck on me like tails on a donkey. If I wanted to be pretentious, I'd take the CIA seal and advertise this movie and really take advantage of the headlines. Central Intelligence Agency, United States of America, Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway. And don't think it wasn't suggested—obviously, that’s what advertising people do. We really put our foot down—Redford and I—to absolutely stop that.
In 1997, The Association of Danish Film Directors, on behalf of Pollack, sued Danmarks Radio, claiming that their broadcasting the film in a panned and scanned version violated his copyright. The case was unsuccessful, as the rights were not owned by Pollack personally in the first place. The case is believed to have been the first legal challenge to the practice of panning and scanning for broadcast on the grounds that it compromises the artistic integrity of an original film.
|Three Days of the Condor|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Label|| Capitol (1975)|
DRG (2004 reissue)
All music by Dave Grusin, except where noted.
In March 2015, Skydance Media in partnership with MGM Television and Paramount Television announced that they would produce a TV series remake of the film.In February 2017, Max Irons was cast as Joe Turner in the series entitled Condor for Audience.
Charles Robert Redford Jr. is an American actor, director and activist. Throughout his career, he has won several film awards, including an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002. He is also the founder of the Sundance Film Festival. In April 2014, Time magazine included Redford in their annual Time 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World", declaring him the "Godfather of Indie Film". In 2016, he was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dorothy Faye Dunaway is an American actress. She is the recipient of awards including an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, and a British Academy Film Award. In 2011, the government of France made her an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Max von Sydow was a Swedish actor. He had a 70-year career in European and American cinema, television, and theatre, appearing in more than 150 films and several television series in multiple languages. He became a French citizen and lived in France for the last decades of his life.
Sydney Irwin Pollack was an American film director, producer and actor. Pollack directed more than 20 films and 10 television shows, acted in over 30 movies or shows and produced over 44 films. His 1985 film Out of Africa won him Academy Awards for directing and producing. He was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) and Tootsie (1982).
Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 American Revisionist Western film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as the title character and Will Geer as "Bear Claw" Chris Lapp. It is based partly on the life of the legendary mountain man John Jeremiah Johnson, recounted in Raymond Thorp and Robert Bunker's book Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson and Vardis Fisher's novel Mountain Man.
Six Days of the Condor is a thriller novel by American author James Grady, first published in 1974 by W.W. Norton. The story is a suspense drama set in contemporary Washington, D.C., and is considerably different from the 1975 film version, Three Days of the Condor. It was followed by a second novel by Grady titled Shadow of the Condor, released in 1978. Two more sequels, Next Day of the Condor and Last Days of the Condor came out in 2015.
Voyage of the Damned is a 1976 drama war film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, with an all-star cast featuring Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner, Lee Grant, Max von Sydow, James Mason, and Malcolm McDowell.
Joubert is a French surname. It is a regional variant form of Jaubert, originating in the centre west and centre south of France. This surname is common to South Africa and Namibia, particularly among the descendants of Huguenot settlers.
Hawaii is a 1966 American epic drama film directed by George Roy Hill and based on the 1959 novel of the same name by James A. Michener. It tells the story of an 1820s Yale University divinity student who, accompanied by his new bride, becomes a Calvinist missionary in the Hawaiian Islands. It was filmed at Old Sturbridge Village, in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and on the islands of Kauai and Oahu in Hawaii.
The Electric Horseman is a 1979 American comedy-drama romance western film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and directed by Sydney Pollack. The film is about a former rodeo champion who is hired by a cereal company to become its spokesperson, and then runs away on a $12 million electric-lit horse and costume he is given to promote it in Las Vegas.
Mommie Dearest is a 1981 American biographical drama film directed by Frank Perry. The film depicts Christina Crawford's adoptive mother, actress Joan Crawford, as an abusive and manipulative mother who hurt her adopted children.
Owen Roizman is an American cinematographer. He has received five Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, for the films The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Network (1976), Tootsie (1982), and Wyatt Earp (1994). He served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was president of the American Society of Cinematographers.
James Grady is an American writer and investigative journalist known for his thriller novels on espionage, intrigue, and police procedurals.
Embassy is a 1972 British spy thriller film directed by Gordon Hessler, written by John Bird and William Fairchild, and with music scored by Biddu. It is based on the 1969 novel of the same title by Stephen Coulter. It was shot on location in Beirut where the film is set, whereas the novel had been centred in Paris.
Maximilian Paul Diarmuid Irons is an English-Irish actor and model. He is known for his roles in Red Riding Hood (2011), his first leading role in Bitter Harvest, The White Queen (2013), The Host (2013), Woman in Gold (2014), The Riot Club (2014), and The Wife (2018).
David Rayfiel was an American screenwriter and frequent collaborator of director Sydney Pollack.
Hank Garrett is an American actor, comedian, and professional wrestler best known for the television role of Officer Nicholson on Car 54, Where Are You?
Max von Sydow (1929–2020) was a Swedish-French actor. Some of his most memorable film roles include Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), the first of his eleven films with Bergman, and the film that includes the iconic scenes in which he plays chess with Death; Martin in Through a Glass Darkly (1961); Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist (1973); Joubert the assassin in Three Days of the Condor (1975); Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon (1980); the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983); Liet-Kynes in Dune (1984); Dr. Peter Ingham in Awakenings (1990); Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002) and Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). He was nominated for two Academy Awards, for his roles as Lassefar in Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and The Renter in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2012). On television, Sydow played the Three-eyed Raven in Game of Thrones. In 2011, he voiced Esbern in the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Faye Dunaway is an American actress who appeared in over seventy films, thirty television shows, thirteen plays and two music videos. Regarded as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, she was one of the leading actresses during the golden age of New Hollywood. After her film debut The Happening, she starred in the gangster film Bonnie and Clyde, in which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She starred with Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). In 1969, she co-starred with Kirk Douglas in Elia Kazan's drama The Arrangement. The following year, she starred with Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man. In 1970, her performance in Jerry Schatzberg's experimental drama Puzzle of a Downfall Child earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama. She portrayed Milady de Winter in Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974).
Condor is an American thriller television series based on the novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady and its 1975 film adaptation Three Days of the Condor written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Rayfiel starring Max Irons. The series was created by Todd Katzberg, Jason Smilovic, and Ken Robinson and premiered on June 6, 2018 on Audience. In July 2018, the series had been renewed for a second season, although in January 2020, Audience announced it would be ending operations in its current format. The second season, already filmed at the time of the announcement, premiered on June 9, 2020, on C More and RTÉ2.
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