Those who like taut, cat and mouse political thrillers will love this prescient 1975 film of a rogue cancer in the CIA that desperately wants to protect American oil interests in the Middle East and is prepared to kill its own to do it.
Adapted from the 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady, which has the CIA killing to line its officer’s pockets with drug money, the film was directed by Sydney Pollack and enjoyed a stellar cast. Robert Redford, at the top of his game here, plays the lowly CIA analyst Joe Turner, codenamed “Condor”, whose job, along with six others in the clandestine department is to read books, magazines and journals looking for coded messages. When he stumbles on some he reports his suspicions to his CIA bosses, not realising that they link to a CIA plot to take over an oil-rich country. As a result the CIA send in a murder squad which ruthlessly wipes out their whole department, all except for Condor who is out buying sandwiches at the time and who gets back to find all his colleagues dead. Thereafter he goes on the run, not knowing who to trust, as his CIA bosses try to kill him.
Redford is supported by some top acting talent, including the late Cliff Robertson as a CIA deputy director not involved in the murders, Max von Sydow as the excellently repellent terminator, character actor John Houseman as one of the amoral CIA officers and Faye Dunaway as the woman Redford captures and befriends to help him stay alive.
Three Days of the Condor has been released this month in a dual Blu-ray/DVD edition by Eureka Entertainment as part of its Masters of Cinema series, and also features a video appreciation of the works of director Sydney Pollack, an interview with film historian Sheldon Hall and a 32-page booklet featuring an exclusive interview with Pollack