Three Days of the Condor

Has anyone else seen this movie?

Anyone at all?

I saw it for the first time today and I thought it was great. Very well-acted and an intriguing story. Robert Redford owned, as should be expected, and the supporting cast was great. Excellent pacing, twists throughout and good music.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Excellent paranoid spy thriller. Redford’s character is sympathetic because he’s operating out of his depth – he’s not really a spy, he just reads books for the CIA. But his little gift for remembering everything he’s ever read comes in handy…

Oh yeah, and Faye Dunaway ain’t too hard on the eyes, is she?

I remember it from my youth - it was quite good. The book 6 Days of the Condor was excellent too.

Yep, a great Cold War era thriller not actually about the US vs. USSR. And very fitting with its paranoia and questioning of authority in the Post-Watergate era.

Only saw bits and pieces on TV. Would like to see the whole thing some time.

I know it’s trite to say it, but the book was, IMHO, better.
However, that being said, this was one of the most faithful adaptations I’ve seen. And Max von Sydow adds some first class gravitas to his fairly small but key part.


I loved this movie - have it on DVD. Max Von Sydow’s character was great, as was Redford’s.

The CIA’s ‘plot’ was a little far-fetched, but that’s normal for movies in this genre.

I agree, Sam. I thought the CIA plot was a bit “out there”, but it wasn’t entirely unbelievable. I must say that the motivation was intriguing. The conversation between Higgins and Turner on the street (at the end) summed up how utterly pointless the CIA’s motivation was. A good ending.

It’s one of the better spy movies. I also liked the Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon film with a name something like Scorpio. Another from that era worth watching for the suspense is Charles Bronson’s The Mechanic with (believe it or not) Jan Michael Vincent.

It’s probably like everything else, but there are so many movies I saw 20 or more years ago that I have fond memories of that once I get a chance to see them again they lose a lot by the passage of time. But Condor holds up as well as most. Those others mentioned do, too.

Since that post above I have checked IMDB for those movies I mentioned and was surprised I had the dates as close as I did. However, the ratings at IMDB for the other two don’t support my memory of how good they were. In other words, don’t race out to rent them unless you read IMDB’s criticisms first. Maybe they didn’t age as well for others as they did for me. That said, I did notice that not everyone relates well to Condor so that may not be as good a barometer after all.

As for other spy thrillers worth checking out at IMDB (or elsewhere) I liked:

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
The Whistle Blower
The Ipcress File
The Parallax View

And an old Ray Milland (1940’s) thing that had the odd treatment of being a sound movie with no spoken dialogue. The Thief if you care.

The love story was a little forced and entirely unnecessary, but otherwise, yeah, really great. I’d like to see something else like this come out of Hollywood today.

But nowadays the postman/assassin would be a kung fu master and he and Redford’s character would have a big “wirework fu” fight in Dunaway’s strangely huge and stylish hip apartment.

Or we’d get another flick like Enemy Of The State with Will Smith. Where the actually plot and dirty goings on take a back seat to amped up chases and stuff blowing up.

i was very jealous that redford’s job was reading. how awesome.

i liked the movie. and how can you go wrong looking at robert redford for a few hours?

I just read those reviews over at IMDB, and they seemed to me to fall into three categories:

  1. People who loved the movie
  2. People who thought it was ‘dated’.
  3. People who missed the point.

Sure, the movie is dated. It was made decades ago. So what? Lots and lots of movies are dated, and if you let that stop you from enjoying it, you’ll miss most of the greatest movies made.

The people who missed the point complained about A) the ambigious ending, and B) the ambiguous motivations of the characters.

But that IS the point of the movie. In the cold war, the line was often pretty gray between the good guys and the bad guys. When the survival of humanity is at stake, it’s pretty easy for people to justify pretty heinous acts to save what’s theirs. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it hard to separate the players sometimes.

There was one review there that I thought was totally whacked. One guy thought the movie was evil because it started by showing Max Von Sydow coldly killing a bunch of good people, and then the reviewer thought that the movie switched gears and portrayed him as a ‘good’ guy because he helped Redford. But that misses the point of the character completely - the Sydow character was totally amoral - he’d kill anyone, anytime, for a buck. And he was so emotionally unmoved by it that he could be a nice kindly man to someone he was about to kill, simply because the contract was rescinded. And his speech to Redford was a perfect summation of his worldview. His life was peaceful, because he owed nothing to anyone. Not to god, country, morality, nothing. To him, it was all about being precise, efficient, and professional. He didn’t lay awake nights examining his soul - his satisfaction came from a job well done, and nothing else. In his spare time he painted little figurines - another task that requires precision and care, and which is totally irrelevant to everyone but the craftsman. I thought it was the best character study of an assassin I’d seen up to that point (and maybe ever).

I maintain that it’s a great movie, flawed only by the unbelievable and gratuitous love scene tacked into the middle.

I have to recommend 2 excellent BBC miniseries, both starring Alec Guinness. The first is “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and the second is “Smiley’s People”.

So, someone tell me, after the icy Richard Burton/Claire Bloom/Oskar Werner perfection of “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”, why have we never seen “Game/Set/Match” or “Hook/Line/Sinker” brought to the small screen? This would have been worse than “Yes, Dear” or another season of “Everybody Loathes Raymond”?

I don’t get it. (and yes, I do have an inexplicable man-crush on Oskar Werner).


I also confess that I loved the fact that a DEC PDP-8 played a prominent role in the assassination scene, continuing to churn out translations while the Agency staff was terminated. Damn DEC equipment would run forever were it not for operator errors (like being dead).

If “Omega Man” or “Last Night” had been real, the last intelligence on Earth would be a DEC mainframe printing out “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” customer reply cards.

I don’t see 3DotC as dated at all.

Americans still want Them to get their oil, and they don’t care how They do it.

Chills down my spine still.

I have followed Max Van Sydow’s career for a long time. 3DotC is pretty much the last film where he acted up to standards. By Hannah and Her Sisters, he was just chewing scenery.