Hollywood legends Robert Redford and director Sydney Pollack teamed up for their third collaboration, Three Days of the Condor, which incredibly gets its first ever home video release in the UK, presented as part of the Masters of Cinema series. First released in 1975, it’s a tense conspiracy tale of deceit and corruption and a great example of classic 70’s American cinema.
Adapted from a novel by James Grady, Redford stars as Joe Turner, a junior analyst in the CIA who spends his days scrutinising published texts from around the world for coded messages. But when he discovers an unusual anomaly, he is suddenly the target of ruthless assassins as he desperately tries to outwit unknown enemies and uncover the truth behind a mass cover-up on the run.
While possessing the grit and obvious aesthetic of a 1970’s thriller, Condor has surprising modern day relevance and feels believable throughout. This makes watching the film in a modern context all the more satisfying and impactful.
Supporting Redford in an exceptionally strong performance is a superb supporting cast in the form of Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and a very creepy Max von Sydow, which really elevates the drama. The source material is very solid but the script is also tightly constructed, shaping these well defined characters and serving up excellent dialogue
Punctuating this drama as the conspiracy unfolds are sparse but gritty fight scenes and shootouts, used sparingly but with real impact and high stakes; a great example of action backing up the story with actual consequences.
It’s incredible to think this movie is only now arriving in the UK for the first time on home video, over 40 years after it was first released, but better later than never. The Dual Format version offers both DVD and Blu-ray formats with near-flawless picture and sound quality. The special edition includes:
-New HD transfer
-Exclusive video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
-The Directors: Sydney Pollack – career-spanning documentary
-Original theatrical trailer
-Collectible booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Brooke, an interview with Pollack and archive images
As a solid conspiracy thriller, setting the bar impressively high by any standard, Condor is also an example of extremely well made, well acted and tightly written cinema born from a golden era of Hollywood. With talk of a TV adaptation in development, make sure you see the original and best.
Three Days of the Condor is out now from Eureka Entertainment.