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Blu-ray & DVD Review

DVD cover

Three Days of the Condor (1975)
(Blu-Ray & DVD Dual Format)


Starring: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow
Distributor: Eureka Entertainment
RRP: £19.99 (Blu-Ray & DVD Dual Format)
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 11 April 2016

Joseph Turner spends his life immersed in books, working as a junior analyst for the CIA. On one particular day he pops out the back of the office to pick up the coffee order only to return and discover everyone in his building has been murdered. Without knowing why or by who Joseph finds himself on the run from professional killers, always trying to stay one step ahead, trying to survive...

Three Days of the Condor (1975. 1 hr, 57 min, 22 sec) is a taut action thriller directed by Sydney Pollack. The film was based on the novel, Six Days of the Condor by James Grady and was nominated for an Oscar and three others; it won five awards in total.

Robert Redford (Joseph Turner) was still young and attractive enough to play a leading romantic role and so the film contains a subplot with his taking refuge with Faye Dunaway’s character, Kathy Hale. Although the two are fine actors and there does feel like there is chemistry between the two, it also felt forced and unnecessary to the plot.

What is necessary is the slick and understated violence of the man hunting Joseph, Joubert as played by Max von Sydow, who is following Joseph for, initially unknown reasons. As the film progresses we discover that Joseph may know something which he is consciously unaware of, which threatens vested interests even within his own government. As well as the excellent leads the film also can boast two great character actors in Cliff Robertson (J. Higgins) and John Houseman (Mr. Wabash).

As Redford doggedly tries to stay alive, there is something of the betrayed innocent about his performance. The response from the CIA, when he contacts them to report the killings, is sufficiently odd to set up a level of paranoia which the film never lets go. The only down time is when the film concentrates on his relationship with Hale, which mostly acts as a breather before the next nail biting sequence.

The disc comes with the audio options for DD 2.0 and DD 5.1, with optional English subtitles. There are three extras on the disc; Sheldon Hall (21 min, 53 sec) has the film historian discussing the film placing it with the surrounding cultural milieu. The Directors: Sydney Pollack (59 min, 46 sec) was part of a series of programs which looked at the life and works of a particular director. Finally you get the original theatrical trailer (3 min, 04 sec). The film is presented with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

The film may be old, but the print is good and more importantly the story remains believable and the acting exceptional.


Charles Packer

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Blu-ray & DVD