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Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

James Grady (novel), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,404 ( 3,537)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Turner
Faye Dunaway ... Kathy
Cliff Robertson ... Higgins
Max von Sydow ... Joubert (as Max Von Sydow)
John Houseman ... Mr. Wabash
Addison Powell ... Atwood
Walter McGinn Walter McGinn ... Barber
Tina Chen ... Janice
Michael Kane Michael Kane ... Wicks
Don McHenry Don McHenry ... Dr. Lappe
Michael Miller Michael Miller ... Fowler
Jess Osuna Jess Osuna ... The Major
Dino Narizzano Dino Narizzano ... Harold
Helen Stenborg Helen Stenborg ... Mrs. Russell (as Helen Stenbure)
Patrick Gorman ... Martin
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Storyline

A mild mannered CIA researcher, paid to read books, returns from lunch to find all of his co-workers assassinated. "Condor" must find out who did this and get in from the cold before the hitmen get him. Written by Mike CO <mileco@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The CIA knows him as Condor. What he knows about them has just made him an Endangered Species. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

October 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

3 Days of the Condor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,509,797
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some interesting names on the building buzzer that Redford is trying to use: "Argento", "King", "Brooks". See more »

Goofs

After killing Atwood, Joubert wipes down all the surfaces Condor touched, but forgets the record player behind Atwood's chair. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy: Hey, Shakespeare! How's it going?
Joe Turner: Terrific. I'm building up a great collection of rejection slips.
Jimmy: [as he prepares Turner's lunch order] Yeah, I know the feeling. I always wanted to be Escoffier.
Joe Turner: Well, maybe it's not too late. You know, Van Gogh was thirty before he started to paint.
Jimmy: No kiddin'?
Joe Turner: There's no mayonnaise on Dr. Lappe. On the other hand, Mozart was three when he started to play the piano, and he was composing at six.
Jimmy: Fast starter. 'S probably better.
Joe Turner: Well, I don't know. Van Gogh ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Birth of the Living Dead (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got You Where I Want You
(uncredited)
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Tom Bähler
Performed by James Gilstrap
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Simmer against the machine...at the beginnings of a new kind of CIA genre
18 December 2009 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

This is looking more and more like a period piece, dated and curious like one of those great Cold War films looks today (Failsafe or Seven Days in May). And yet it also feels like the beginnings of spy/counterspy films that are going on today, way beyond the pizazz of the early Bond films of the 1960s, and presaging the dozens since, including recent ones like the Bourne films or Syriana. It plays straight up as a suspense film, one where an almost innocent man is caught up in something huge and perplexing and awful, and we all identify with the individual against the powers of evil. Robert Redford plays the role of Joe Turner well, with the usual Redford stiffness, but believably--he reads books, after all--and sympathetically.

Putting yourself back to 1975 you have to remember that everyone was talking about, and reacting to, Watergate, and a U.S. president who had to resign from office because of it. Watergate, more than anything, started the current public roar (blossoming on the internet) about government conspiracy. Three Days of the Condor makes the government, and the CIA in particular, an almost unassailable and invisible force of spying and mistrust. Turner, by circumstance at first and then by admirable determination, fights back. He's clever as much as he is worried. He falls in love. He feels isolated but never gives up. He has close calls, and lucky escapes, and unlikely friends. He thinks of other people first.

In other words, he's a hero against the machine, and if the movie is sometimes slow, it creates a nice pace for the end, which is beautifully thought out. Director Sydney Pollack is hampered by a screenplay that alternates between awkward (Faye Dunaway's scenes) and brilliant (Redford's anti-spy character has a conversation with a hit man played by Max Von Sydow that shines), but he patches it together with an editing job that was nominated for an Oscar. And the cinematography by Owen Roizman is really nice (he shot a dozen great films from the French Connection to the Exorcist to Network). Condor is not just an entertainment, which is a saving grace, but it does also, slowly and beautifully, entertain.


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