Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Days of The Condor

Robert Redford was the Jason Bourne of his time, and the villain as usual, is the CIA, and the cause, as usual, oil in Middle East. But this slick thriller works because of the confident script, the chemestry between Redford and Dunaway and the star turn of Max von Sydow as the killer...

Writes Roger Ebert:

"…Redford brings a nice dogged seriousness to his role: He would very much like to stay alive, so he's got to rethink all of his assumptions about the CIA. ("Why is it," he reasonably asks a telephone contact, "that I have to identify myself to you, but you don't have to identify yourself to me?") The movie becomes the story of how he stays alive and unwittingly reveals a conspiracy within the agency.

"He's assisted by Faye Dunaway, playing a girl named Kathy who's the very embodiment of pluck. He kidnaps her in order to use her apartment as a hideout, but something about him (perhaps his uncanny resemblance to Robert Redford) convinces her that he's not paranoid -- that, indeed, there really are people trying to kill him. She's fairly neurotic herself, but she's a good sort and she helps all she can. And she has three lines of dialog that brings the house down. They're obscene and funny and poignant all at once, and Dunaway delivers them just marvelously.

"The film's director, Sydney Pollack, has worked with Redford three times before (they made the epic "Jeremiah Johnson" and the considerably less-than-epic "The Way We Were"). He does an interesting job of gradually revealing the net around his character. It's made up of business like types, the most chilling thing about them, indeed, is their bloodlessness as they discuss death and other "contingency plans."…"

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