Books, Bullets and the CIA.
From the director that brought us the 7 Oscar wining film Out of Africa, also staring Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack brings us a story from the time shortly after a fuel crisis, when America wanted to move forward with projects like the World Trade Centre.
Eureka bring us #128 in the Masters of Cinema Dual-Format releases, Three Days of the Condor, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.
Joseph Turner (Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, A Bridge Too Far) is late for work at the American Literary Historical Society where he and the team of historians scan and print out every book published. He, along with the rest of the team in the building, work for the CIA whose main office resides within the high echelons of the Twin Towers.
They use the latest technology to search through the books to see if there are any patterns or coded messages hidden within the text. But the report that Turner has submitted numerous times appears to have been overlooked or ignored.
Turner is a very precise man and tackles jobs around the office that everybody else would just call a repairman for and be done with it, as the firm will be paying for it. All this time, as he does his repairs, the front of the building is being watched by a mysterious man (Max Von Sydow, The Exorcist, Dune) clocking the workers as they arrive and ticking them off his list.
His life is turned upside down on this fateful day when it is his turn to buy lunch from the restaurant down the road. As it will rain for another few minutes he takes the back route out of the building saving himself a blocks distance.
A knock at the front door shows a postman with his wet weather gear on wanting to do a delivery, so the secretary opens her desk drawer and pushes the door release button. In comes the postman but it isn’t a signature he is after, it is targets. He is brandishing a silenced sub-machine gun and lets rip on the secretary as his accomplices shoot anybody else that shows up as they make their way through the building, eliminating everybody, including Turners love interest Janice (Tina Chen, Alice’s Restaurant).
With his haul of sandwiches Turner heads back to the building the long way round as his prediction of the length of the rain was correct. He gets to the front door and instinctively waves to the overhead camera. When he doesn’t hear the familiar buzz he expects he looks at the door and finds it ajar. Cautiously he enters. He works his way through each room just finding carnage.
He panics and heads for the front door, remembering to grab the secretary’s automatic pistol from the drawer next to the door button. He remembers that he must phone this into the head office. The man that takes the call is call sign The Major (Jess Osuna, Kramer vs Kramer) and he follows a very strict procedure to get the information from the caller and this is where we find out that Turner’s call sign is Condor.
The information is fed to Higgins (Cliff Robertson, Escape From L.A.) in the world trade centre, who is deputy head of Dept 17. Condor wants to be brought in to a safe house but he has never seen Higgins or Wicks (Michael Kane, Lonely are the Brave), from the same department but stationed at Langley. They are sent to bring him in, so he gets them to bring along Sam (Walter McGinn, Farewell, my Lovely) a friend from his past.
This is where Condors day goes from bad to worse as someone takes a shot at him at the meeting. Now wanted for the death of his friend he must find safety and he does this by making a hasty decision to kidnap Kathy Hale (Fay Dunaway, Bonnie and Clyde).
Even though this was made in the 1970’s this film of conspiracies, lies and deceit is as relevant now as it was then, as films such as Enemy of the State and the Bourne series have the same feel the same as this film from the past.
Redford is brilliant as is Dunaway and the rest of the cast support the drama of this great film, a must for all those that love this genre. and with all the special features that come with the Masters of Cinema releases, you are in for a treat.
New high-definition presentation
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
· Stereo and 5.1 soundtrack options
· Exclusive new video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
· The Directors: Sydney Pollack, a career-spanning appreciation of the director’s works
· Original theatrical trailer
· 32-PAGE BOOKLET featuring a new essay on the film by critic Michael Brooke, an extensive interview with Pollack, and archival images.