Three Days of the Condor

Not rated yet!
Director
Sydney Pollack
Runtime
1 h 57 min
Release Date
24 September 1975
Genres
Thriller
Overview
A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.
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  • The 10 Best Films of the 1970s
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King (1975) Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)A roaring, timeless Kipling adventure directed by John Huston and starring the incomparable duo of Sean Connery and Michael Caine, the film is simultaneously a swashbuckling imperialist adventure and a cautionary tale about venturing into dimly understood lands to take advantage of easy pickings there. The scene in which the two old soldiers laugh their way out of doom -- their voices cause an avalanche that seals an unpassable chasm -- is a mini-tutorial on the payoff from looking at the bright side. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/6/13/the-10-best-films-of-the-1970s/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Safe House: Post-American American Pop Culture
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle [This post contains spoilers to Safe House and Three Days of the Condor.]In Safe House, Denzel Washington plays a super-spy traitor on the run from a team of killers. In U.S. custody, he becomes the charge, enemy and mentor of as-spy-ring spy Ryan Reynolds. As crappy, mindless entertainment, the movie succeeds on all fronts: it's entertaining, mindless and crappy. Its cast of high-level professional entertainers squeezes every drop of joy it can out of the ridiculously violent and predictable script. Denzel Washington must be able to play these sorts of characters in his sleep but, to his credit, he doesn't; he's classy enough to show up for the paying customers and do it right. After all, that's part of what a movie star does — deliver his familiar personae well.What makes the film really second rate though is the fact that it's so incredibly derivative. "This isn't so much a movie as a list of cliches," as my pal Christopher Tookey wrote in Britain's Daily Mail. It seems to lift scenes from every spy movie ever made. Stylistically, its main source is The Bourne Identity. Content-wise, it's 1975's dated-but-still-classy Three Days of the Condor — it's virtually a remake, hold the class.But just as interesting as the similarities between Safe House and Condor are the differences, the marks of thirty plus years. In both pictures, a low level CIA agent is isolated and on the run after his unit is brutally exterminated. In both pictures it turns out the bad guy is within the agency itself. In both pictures, the resolution includes our hero leaking the agency's misdeeds to the world. In Condor, Robert Redford spreads the word through the New York Times, which was a newspaper in those days. In Safe House, Reynolds gives the info to CNN, from which I guess it then leaks out to a news agency and becomes public.But here is what's different.  Although Three Days of the Condor is a stridently left wing movie, its hero is a patriot. The stateless assassin on his trail tells him to abandon America and work only for pay: "It's almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There's only yourself." But Redford replies mildly, "I was born in the United States. I miss it when I'm away too long.""A pity," says the assassin."I don't think so," says Redford.As love of country goes, it's not much, but for sophisticates like the LA-New York set, it's downright George M. Cohan. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/7/14/safe-house-post-american-american-pop-culture/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Safe House: Post-American American Pop Culture
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture [This post contains spoilers to Safe House and Three Days of the Condor.]In Safe House, Denzel Washington plays a super-spy traitor on the run from a team of killers. In U.S. custody, he becomes the charge, enemy and mentor of as-spy-ring spy Ryan Reynolds. As crappy, mindless entertainment, the movie succeeds on all fronts: it's entertaining, mindless and crappy. Its cast of high-level professional entertainers squeezes every drop of joy it can out of the ridiculously violent and predictable script. Denzel Washington must be able to play these sorts of characters in his sleep but, to his credit, he doesn't; he's classy enough to show up for the paying customers and do it right. After all, that's part of what a movie star does — deliver his familiar personae well.What makes the film really second rate though is the fact that it's so incredibly derivative. "This isn't so much a movie as a list of cliches," as my pal Christopher Tookey wrote in Britain's Daily Mail. It seems to lift scenes from every spy movie ever made. Stylistically, its main source is The Bourne Identity. Content-wise, it's 1975's dated-but-still-classy Three Days of the Condor — it's virtually a remake, hold the class.But just as interesting as the similarities between Safe House and Condor are the differences, the marks of thirty plus years. In both pictures, a low level CIA agent is isolated and on the run after his unit is brutally exterminated. In both pictures it turns out the bad guy is within the agency itself. In both pictures, the resolution includes our hero leaking the agency's misdeeds to the world. In Condor, Robert Redford spreads the word through the New York Times, which was a newspaper in those days. In Safe House, Reynolds gives the info to CNN, from which I guess it then leaks out to a news agency and becomes public.But here is what's different.  Although Three Days of the Condor is a stridently left wing movie, its hero is a patriot. The stateless assassin on his trail tells him to abandon America and work only for pay: "It's almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There's only yourself." But Redford replies mildly, "I was born in the United States. I miss it when I'm away too long.""A pity," says the assassin."I don't think so," says Redford.As love of country goes, it's not much, but for sophisticates like the LA-New York set, it's downright George M. Cohan. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2012/7/13/safe-house-post-american-american-pop-culture/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • It's A Conspiracy! (And Other Paranoid Thrills from the Movies)
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Prompted by the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy (which, incidentally, was carried out by an America-hating communist -- and not by a Texan, Tea Party type), I thought I'd discuss some movies which I've enjoyed through the years that deal with secret plots and conspiracies.  There are a good bunch of them out there; and the best of them can be truly unforgettable.I'll start in the 60's:  1962, the year before JFK was murdered, saw the release of the John Frankenheimer-directed film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate.  Widely considered a classic of the political thriller genre, it features Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury (plus Psycho's Janet Leigh!) in prominent roles, as cogs in a machine set in motion by Russian and Chinese spies to overthrow the U.S. government.  Acting, screenplay, and direction mesh together perfectly for truly spine-tingling results .  Skip the 2004 remake and watch the black and white original instead.  You know who's the villain in the 2004 version?  A Halliburton-type corporation.  Yeah, in the 2004 version crony capitalism isn't good enough.  Corporations have to carry out high-level assassinations to actually influence government.Another paranoia great directed by John Frankenheimer is Seconds (1966), which is not just a thriller, but a morality tale of sorts.  The protagonist is an older, successful, middle class straight arrow who feels unfulfilled and frustrated with his station in life.  When he learns of a shadowy organization that can provide him with a new, exciting life as an accomplished artist with a younger body and identity, he approaches it - and is essentially given no choice but to accept its services.  But his new, glamorous, hedonistic existence is not quite the right fit.  Things quickly become more challenging as his regrets add up.  Creepy and heartbreaking at the same time, it stars Rock Hudson, whom we now know led a double life himself.  It's another black and white title, but color would just ruin the entire atmosphere of the film.  This is a movie designed to make you uncomfortable as it entertains you.  It accomplishes that and more.One of the go-to movies for paranoia in the 70's has to be Three Days of the Condor (1975), starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.  Redford plays a CIA analyst who -- perhaps predictably -- has analyzed more than he should have, though even he is not aware of what makes him so dangerous to the CIA agents who want him dead.  The jazz score by Dave Grusin alone is a delight, but the movie is just plain fun to watch.  Redford and Dunaway are great together; and you can't help to root for them as they try to figure out who to trust, who to run away from, and ultimately where to turn for help.  Max Von Sydow plays a hitman who's both elegant and menacing at the same time.Moving on to the 80's, for paranoid horror nothing beats The Thing (1982), directed by John Carpenter.  A sci-fi thriller through and through, and excellently executed -- including its old school in-camera special effects (no CGI back then).  The minimalist Morricone score is a perfect fit for this story of a group of men stuck in an arctic outpost where there is really not much to do beyond looking at snow and feeling cold -- until it becomes evident that some life-form which can mimic any other living creature 100% is making its way through the facility with fatal results.  Who to trust?  Who is really human and not the creature in disguise?  Kurt Russell stars.  And Wilford Brimley  has to be seen to be believed, literally.Also in the sci-fi genre, 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a great example of how science fiction can work with basically any storyline.  It's a political thriller.  No, it's a sci-fi adventure set in the Star Trek universe.  Wait: It's a political thriller and a sci-fi adventure set in the Star Trek universe.  Much like the Soviet empire which collapsed two years before this movie was released, the Klingon Empire - perennial enemy of Starfleet -- is no longer viable.  It's a chance for peace, at long last.  But there are forces on both sides that cannot abide this potential 'New Space Order', including Captain Kirk himself.  There are patsies and there are plotters.  And the long-beloved veteran Enterprise crew is stuck in the middle.  I had only seen one Star Trek movie before I saw this one in the theater back in the day; and yet I enjoyed it tremendously.  If anything, check it out just so you can see Kim Catrall with pointy ears.  Also features Christopher Plummer...as a Klingon!Moving into the first decade of the 21st century, I'm torn between a number of choices.  But it'd be too obvious for me to discuss Minority Report or Valkyrie (both of which coincidentally star Tom Cruise), two great titles which dwell in themes of conspiracy and paranoia.  So let me close by recommending the fifth installment of another beloved franchise: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.  One caveat: I believe it's better if you watch all the prior movies in the Potter series before seeing this one, in order to really enjoy it.  But if you ever want to see a group of wizards organize a secret magi militia to defend their community because their government is too corrupt, co-opted, or inept to protect its citizens from an imminent existential threat, look no further.  Watch it with a liberal friend and then ask him if he was rooting for the protagonists.  Then sit back and laugh a little. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/11/25/its-a-conspiracy/ ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Three Days of the Captain
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Captain America: The Winter Soldier is reviewed by John Podhoretz in the Weekly Standard:Captain America, newly freed from the block of ice in which he has been frozen since the end of the war, must now deal with his failure to rid the world of the Nazi threat. As one character asks him, “How does it feel to know you died for nothing?”That’s quite an interesting message for a superhero movie. Since coming into existence as a genre of its own with Superman in 1978, the comic-book movie has served as the successor to the classic Western—a moral pageant in which a classic white-hatted hero faces off against a black-hatted villain who has upset the moral order. The white hat sets things right and then rides off to do more good deeds.In the late 1940s, after a generation in which more westerns were made than any other kind of movie in Hollywood by a factor of two, directors and writers began to tire of the formula and looked to broaden it. They made villains out of characters who would have once been heroes, like Henry Fonda’s martinet officer in Fort Apache (1948). And they made heroes out of former villains, like the Indian warrior Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950).The superhero movie is Hollywood’s dominant fare. And now its makers—in this case, the gentlemen behind Marvel Studios, the Disney-owned behemoth—have had enough, in the same way that John Ford and Howard Hawks and other western-makers had had enough by the late 1940s. Those men incorporated liberal themes like tolerance and a more complex view of the uses of violence. In keeping with the more radical tenor of our times, Marvel Studios has bypassed that kind of mushy liberalism and gone straight to far-left radicalism.Meanwhile at National Review, Armond White notes that the film's title isn't likely a coincidence, given that "in today’s Hollywood the idea of an honest, uncomplicated fighting soldier is more foreign than a Prius:"This fact makes the latest installment of Marvel’s Captain America franchise oddly insincere and unconvincing. It vitiates that sometimes disingenuous phrase “I support the troops.” Instead, the film’s subtitle recalls the 1972 documentary Winter Soldier, in which Vietnam veterans repented their battlefield violence. Such disillusionment now infects even a comic-book franchise, so that the Captain America idea stops short of nationalist fervor. As Rogers takes his daily superhuman run around the basin of Washington, D.C., he introduces himself to another morning runner (and us) with the repeated look-out phrase “On your left . . .” Not a coincidence.Through modish reinvention, Captain America — a dated, sanctimonious brawler-innocent — represents the undeniable fantasy of a particular political perspective. Leaning to the left, he prevails over internal threats to U.S. security (in the form of a neo-Nazi underground called Hydra, whose members include a senator and a State Department honcho played by Robert Redford). Yet the motivation for his intrepidness isn’t deep; it lacks a certain conviction. The fanboy audience (including adults), which has more dedication to the comic-book genre than to the Selective Service, may cheer him on with hollow enthusiasm while falling for Hollywood’s imaginary patriotism. Ignoring the complexities of realpolitik, moviegoers respond to formulaic CGI action scenes as if saluting the flag.Whenever I hear the words "Winter Soldier," I immediately think of the 2004-era Website that illustrated the radical timeline of John Kerry in the 1970s; and to add to the '70s paranoia atmosphere of the film, Robert Redford, matinee idol turned star of such paranoid '70s potboilers such as Three Days of the Condor and All the President's Men has a supporting role.Which also reflects Podhoretz's take that the superhero movie has become "Hollywood’s dominant fare" in much the same way that westerns were in the 1940s and '50s. Marvel gets a name that adds cache on the film poster; Redford gets a pop culture boost in the wintery twilight of his own career. It's a well-timed one to boot, after The Company You Keep, his disastrous brush with radical chic last year, which in the same sort of macabre synchronicity that Bill Ayers could appreciate, promoted the Pentagon-bombing Weathermen just in time to coincide with the Boston Marathon bombing Tsarnaev brothers.By the way, the question asked of the Captain regarding his service in World War II, “How does it feel to know you died for nothing?” also seems like yet another attempt by Hollywood to reduce World War II down to meaningless nihilism.Which seems a particularly odd and depressing turn for the Hollywood superhero genre.For a more positive take on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, check out the latest edition of PJTVs Trifecta, with my friends Steve Green, Bill Whittle, and Scott Ott: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Trifecta Goes to the Movies: Libertarian Themes Hit the Screen in Captain America & Divergent', 'videoType': 'Original' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/4/12/three-days-of-the-captain/ ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Edward Snowden the Movie?
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Social Network Official Trailer #1 - (2010) HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); How long till Hollywood hammers out the story of the NSA leaker on the silver screen? Last year the buzz started on several projects, with at least one film slated to come out in the autumn. But what kind of movies will we get? And, will anyone want to see them?Hollywood's first problem is this doesn't seem to be the movie the movie-going public is anticipating. "For all the attention generated by the controversy over Edward Snowden’s disclosures of U.S. spying operations," The Los Angles Times recently reported, "much of the public has paid little attention to the details of the policy debate over government surveillance, polls have shown."For sure it would be a big mistake to open the film opposite the third installment of the Hunger Games franchise.The second problem for the screenwriters is crafting a film that even those who closely follow the issue will want to sit through. After all stories like this don't pact much drama. The 2010 film The Social Network (about the founding of Facebook) might have suckered Tinsel Town into thinking it could crank out "geek" hits one after the other. But an almost identical movie, Jobs (2013), sputtered at the box office. Even more worrisome for those anxious to bring Snowden to the big screen is the fate of The Fifth Estate (2013), the biopic of Wikileaks founder Jullian Assange.  In many ways a Snowden movie would be the same story--individual leaks US government secrets and lives with the consequences. After the release of the Assange film Bloomberg reported, "[f]inally, we can put a price of a sort on leaking state secrets: $1.7 million. That was the breathtakingly dismal box-office tally this past weekend for The Fifth Estate...."To make Snowden succeed on the screen, the filmmakers will have to deliver drama. Both The Fifth Estate and Jobs had strong acting and decent scripts--but they lacked a compelling reason for most movie-goers to fill seats--a gripping narrative that most of us cared about. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'THE FIFTH ESTATE Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/1/27/edward-snowden-the-movie/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)
  • Matt Who? Renner Proves a Winner in The Bourne Legacy
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle The quintessential moment of The Bourne Legacy, which continues and expands the scope of the first three Bourne movies, comes when one top-secret intel type tells another, of a hit squad, “That was a D-Track team we sent in there!” (or, possibly, “That was a detrac team we sent in there!”). The second official replies, “I don’t know what that is.”Neither do I, and neither do you, and for long stretches of the film, which stars a thoroughly convincing Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, a walking lethal weapon who is part of the same program that yielded Jason Bourne, The Bourne Legacy is completely incomprehensible. There are reams of jargon, heaps of secret code names, miles of exposition. Yet I was completely enthralled by this magnificent mumbo-jumbo. As Woody Allen says at the end of Sleeper, “I don’t know what the hell that means but it sounds brilliant.”This time Matt Damon declined to participate so we begin with Renner, the The Hurt Locker star, diving underwater in frigid Alaska on some sort of spy scavenger hunt. He doesn’t know what he’s doing there and, even after the movie ended, I didn’t either either. His Aaron Cross pulls off some nifty stunts to survive, then  runs into a fellow secret agent and narrowly escapes death. Back in D.C. the back-office hacks led by Eric Byer (Norton) are trying to kill him with drones. Cross finds a tracking device in his leg, cuts it out, and for some reason decides it needs to go down the throat of a live wolf to fool the drones. Couldn’t he just throw it away and let the drone hit it where it lies? Still, watching Renner tangle with a wolf is lively stuff, and things are just getting going. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/8/10/matt-who-renner-proves-a-winner-in-the-bourne-legacy/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Jay Dyer1
Esoteric Hollywood



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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  • Jay's Top Ten Conspiracy...

    By: Jay Dyer Some of these will be obvious, but as the readership grows there may be insights in certain lesser known films that deal with conspiracy in general.  My...

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    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Tron (1982)
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Before William Gibson and the eventual cinematization of his ideas, The Matrix, but after Shockwave Rider and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Tron captured the imagination of the public with a movie that adapted the Star Wars series to take place inside a computer. More of a culmination of ideas and a reduction of them to a tangible form than an entirely new idea on its own, Tron defined the cyberpunk wave of science fiction by laying out the basic ingredients of all of its future drama. The result is a visually compelling movie that compares to Metropolis and Blade Runner for its graceful but imposing artistic representation of its topic.

    Set in approximately the same time in which it was filmed, this movie follows the path of a hacker trying to find proof that he wrote a massively successful video game which has been stolen by a 1980s style evil large corporate entity. The only glitch is that the secret exists only within the massive mainframe computer that, like the AIs in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Neuromancer, assists that corporate entity… and may partially control it. The mainframe is controlled by a program that resembles the early worms that conquered much of the internet in that it absorbs smaller programs and uses them, zombie-like, as its agents, slowly gaining power as it absorbs more code. In the process of trying to gain entry to the machine, the hacker is captured and digitized by it. Now he must break through its security to escape.

    At this point, it becomes necessary to point out that there are two movies in Tron. One is a science fiction story that summarizes much of the thinking about virtual reality from the previous decade, and another is a movie that — look at the logo on the cover — applies the Disney-style Hollywood treatment to make a story dramatic and yet accessible. The two do not completely integrate and the science fiction dominates most of the first two-thirds of the movie, at which point its storyline becomes obvious and Hollywood takes over for the touchdown. The great strength of this movie is that it made visualizations of computer concepts in the way that has always distinguished Disney productions; its most poignant image, perhaps borrowed a little bit from Thomas Pynchon, is of the neon-light modern city and how it resembles a visual representation of computer programs.

    Where Pynchon compared the lighted city skyline to circuit boards, Tron makes programs into lighted cityscapes that resemble circuit boards, but represent the interaction of programs, users and data. Gibson took this image further and removed the city from it, making it merely a cool-looking abstract space that overlapped with the city but did not directly represent it. Much as both Pynchon and Gibson were influenced by W.S. Burroughs, in this story the computer realm resembles Interzone, or a place where the symbolic becomes real and yet the real can be manipulated by symbols. If you need that dumbed down to a stupefactive level, go see The Matrix, which is 5,000 times more Hollywood-Disney than Tron and is designed to neutralize the power of these concepts.

    In Burroughs, Nietzsche comes to life (from On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense): words manipulate like program code written right into our brains, and the only solution is to decode the message and compare it to reality, at which point one can escape. The Matrix is like the French Revolution writ large onto the screen, in that some simplistic evil corporation keeps everyone in a state of illusion — much like movies and TV including The Matrix do — by creating a false reality. When they wake up, recognizing that the reality is false is enough, and suddenly everyone comes together and sings kumbaya and celebrates the fact that they are all free now. Sound familiar? Yes, it is the standard movie plot of everything from Revenge of the Nerds to Three Days of the Condor. It also compares somewhat to other movies from the same genre of mood as this one and the same time period, such as Blade Runner and Wargames, each of which involves a man fighting technology for liberation theme.

    The interesting science fiction movie within Tron starts at the moment that man is digitized into the machine. Most cyberspace dramas focus on the virtual becoming real, but in this case the real becomes virtual and must find a way to escape from the machine. The movie misses out on what may be the real story, which is how changing data in a machine can change real life, by putting the protagonist Flynn (Jeff Bridges, a spiral cut ham) into the machine. If one bit in your record at the DMV or credit bureau becomes changed, your life will take a radically different turn. By focusing on the escape itself instead, Tron manages to spin itself into an interesting tale where a man must play several video games and win before he can break out into the machine itself, circumvent its security measures and then disable the rogue program that controls it.

    This “escape” theme works well but disconnects real from virtual worlds, which makes it difficult to have any central narrative except the liberation of the machine itself, which conveniently also liberates the information Flynn needs. For the first two-thirds of the movie, Tron plays with its ability to visualize video games as if the participant were inside of them, and works out a few basic computer concepts in visual form as well, which was necessary to prepare the mainstream audience to understand the weird gadgets that were only just beginning to penetrate homes. When the Hollywoodization takes over, the final third of the movie becomes more like Star Wars and your typical 1980s adventure movie, which causes a somewhat incoherent sequence to segue into a happy ending.

    As a movie from its time period, Tron holds up brilliantly over thirty years later. The graphics still look believable and the basic metaphor of man in machine as a program fighting for survival against assimilation strikes a chord with our own struggle to avoid having our brains taken over by the endless memes, advertising, political promises, slogans and trends that keep our modern world under control. While the ending is both slightly confused, fairly derivative and moronically basic in the way only Hollywood can do, it does not detract from an otherwise intriguing and imaginative film that may be one of the more impressive works of quasi-apocalyptic cinema from that era.

    Tags: , , , ,

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    (Review Source)

Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Journalism in the Movies Cheers On Cynicism
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    What’s wrong with TCM’s month-long celebration of fake news
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Unz Review Staff1
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Who Infiltrates Whom?
    (”Three Days of the Condor” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Commenter Almost Missouri writes: Another thing is that Federal agencies like the FBI and ATF mainly employ young-to-middle-aged white guys, so if your organization looks like that, they’re all set to infiltrate you. If your org is full of weedy Near Easterners or scabrous ghetto thugs, well, you can go your way unmolested by the Feds. From my review of the 2001 movie Spy Game starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt as undercover CIA agents operating in China, Vietnam, and Lebanon: If all CIA covert operatives look like Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, the stars of the snazzy but brainless “Spy Game,” it’s no wonder our spooks have proven so ineffectual ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall deprived them of a blond enemy they could infiltrate. … “Spy Game” is set in 1991, when retiring master spy Redford learns that his protégé Pitt has been arrested in China. (The wily Communists caught him by using the sophisticated counter-espionage technique of noticing that Brad Pitt isn’t Chinese.) … I last saw Redford play a CIA man outwitting his heartless Agency superiors in 1975′s “Three Days of the Condor.” In the quarter century since, my own hair has deteriorated sadly. Yet, I’m happy to say, not a hair on Redford’s 64-year-old head has changed, other than that the passing decades seem to have infused his hair with even more body. “Bridge of Spies” Actually, in most movies hostile to the CIA, you can usually tell who is the CIA agent by his thinning hair. I Googled for evidence for this perception of mine and found a good quote in a recent book entitled The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins: “CIA higher-ups were almost always portrayed as cruel, devious, and incompetent uber-WASPs with thin lips and thinning hair.” But it turns out that is from my review of another CIA movie, The Recruit. Anyway, are there ethnic differences in tendency to have thinning hair? I could imagine that American Indians don’t have much of it, but among whites, it mostly seems to come up as a WASP stereotype in CIA movies. ]]>
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    (Review Source)

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