Three Days of the Condor (1975)
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Sidney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor is a strong, post-Watergate, paranoid thriller that only really shows its age because, well, the computers are really old-fashioned, and because it has a couple of casually racist and misogynist moments. In fact, I dare say the whole idea of Robert Redford's character taking a woman hostage, Stockholming her into a lusty romance, and having her help him is a movie convenience (must have a leading lady) and probably only works because he's a pretty boy. Nevertheless, I wouldn't give up the editing on that sex scene for anything. (This is one of those movies that made me check IMDB to see if it had gotten an editing nomination, and I was right, it did.) One thing Pollack definitely gets right regardless of the gender politics of the script is the paranoid atmosphere that reigns in this story of a CIA researcher whose whole unit gets burned and killed, forcing him to run from even his own agency. You never quite know who's working for, and against, whom, and that lasts right to the final frame of the picture.
"You can always depend on the ol' spy fucker."
What a strange little movie. It’s fascinating, tense, and unpredictable, but that sex scene is weird and definitely has a Stockholm Syndrome rape-y-ness.
Some of the plot doesn’t really make sense, with some of the side characters seemingly just there to be mysterious, but yeah it’s good fun, and I’d recommend it. Just be prepared for a bit of a “WTF” moment with that sex scene.
2.5 stars out of 4
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #246 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
This movie ranks #721 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #887 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #929 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life