Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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Flack
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Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Flack »

In Three Days of the Condor Robert Redford plays Joe Turnner (aka "Condor"), a man hired by the CIA to read books. Turnner, charming and a bit aloof, doesn't seem like your typical CIA employee. He spends his days working in an anonymous office in New York City, scanning books for plots that could possibly reveal real-world missions.

On a typical day, Turnner's biggest problem is arriving to work on time. He also likes to duck out for lunch by taking the building's rear exit, which is not visible from the street. During one of those lunches, Turnner returns to his office to find all of his coworkers have been brutally murdered. Afraid that the assassins will be targeting him too, Turnner grabs a pistol hidden in the office and calls his superior officer from the nearest payphone. A rendezvous is scheduled by the CIA to bring Turnner in, but when that goes sideways, Turnner quickly realizes the only person he can trust is himself.

This movie is classified as a political thriller, with an emphasis on thriller. Like Rosemary's Baby, Three Days of the Condor cranks up the paranoia and tension to almost unbearable levels. Every stranger on the street becomes a potential assassin. Some of them are.

I had never heard of Three Days of the Condor until infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick went on the run in the 90s. Mitnick's alias was Condor, the same as Turnner's from the movie, and it's easy to see why he chose that. In the film, Turnner was a loner on the run who employs multiple tricks (including using a phone lineman's set and other phone-related tricks) that Mitnick himself used when attempting to avoid capture.

Had I been born 10 years earlier, I suspect Three Days of the Condor would have been my WarGames or Cloak and Dagger. It is a great (borderline perfect) story about a bookworm going up against a corrupt system and, at least we think, outsmarting them. The film's ending is a bit ambiguous and there's that old saying about winning the fight but losing the war that applies here. As someone in the film explains to Turnner, you can walk away, and someone familiar with you may roll up in a car and ask you to get in and that'll be it. The man then hands Turnner a gun and says, "for that day." Like the ending to the Sopranos, it's a reminder that even with it's over, it's never over.

10/10.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Not that you are a huge RANKING guy, but if you had to pick a movie for the evening, are ya more of a WarGames guy or C&D? I assume C&D?
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Flack
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Re: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Flack »

Hm, good question. WarGames is arguably the better movie, but it takes a while for the action to kick in. Cloak and Dagger starts moving pretty quickly, but the third act in the airport drags on. I guess if it were just me I'd watch the first half of Cloak and Dagger and the second half of WarGames.
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Tdarcos
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Re: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Tdarcos »

Flack wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:23 pm I guess if it were just me I'd watch the first half of Cloak and Dagger and the second half of WarGames.
Would you call that movie Cloak and Games or WarDagger? :cool:
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Jizaboz
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Re: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Jizaboz »

Cloak & Dagger is an excellent movie and arcade game. Haven’t seen Days of Condor yet but you have my interest. As a kid even into my preteens Cloak and Dagger the movie has some pretty unnerving scenes if you see it from the perspective of the kid.

Davey ends up in some really adult and stressful situations.. especially at the end. The first time I saw the end as a kid I remember feeling very nervous. I didn’t see Wargames until I was old enough to groan at how unreal the plot was (though the wardialing scene did make me smile) technically. Cloak & Dagger though.. I can still totally see happening in some weird espionage reality.. even if we rule out game cartridges.. not that we even need to yet.

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Flack
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Re: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Post by Flack »

Cloak and Dagger is essentially a remake of a 1949 movie called The Window. The kid in that movie doesn't play role playing games, he's just a kid with an active imagination that constantly cries wolf. After he witnesses a murder, nobody believes him. There's a scene toward the end where the bad people are riding in a taxi with the kid in between them. They pull up next to a cop and the kid pleads his case and the old people are like, "oh, our kid has such an active imagination!" Then the cop says "yeah, you should whoop that kid." When they pull off, the man punches the kid in the face and knocks him out. The 1940s were a different time.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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