Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Paranoid Thriller, Political Thriller  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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One of the most memorable paranoid thrillers of the 1970s, Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor never loses its focus as a tense, compelling exercise in suspense. The plot rests on the premise that everyone with power is corrupt; Pollack and writers Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and David Rayfiel keep the proceedings from devolving into the preposterous or unconvincing. True to form, Robert Redford represents the powerless, non-corrupt masses as the film's bookish CIA researcher Turner. Unlike some of the bleaker examples of the genre (1974's The Parallax View), Redford's character ultimately outwits the system and finds a way to fight the corruption, much as he would the following year in All the President's Men. Redford's charisma smoothes over some of Condor's less-believable moments, and Sydney Pollack directs in the distinctively gloomy but lively style common to 1970s films. This was the fourth film on which the director and star teamed up; they would continue to work together on movies such as 1985's Out of Africa and 1990's Havana.