Three Days of the Condor on Blu-ray

Monday, 11 April 2016 23:00

Three Days of the Condor - out now as a dual format Blu-ray and DVD setRobert Redford and Faye Dunaway star in this conspiracy thriller about a CIA researcher who uncovers top secret information that puts his life in mortal peril. Joe Turner (Redford) pops out of the office to get some lunch and returns to find his colleagues at the American Literary Historical Society have been brutally murdered. Shaken to his core, Turner contacts his employers seeking sanctuary but things go south and he is forced to go on the run.

Thinking on his feet, Turner kidnaps a complete stranger (Dunaway) and, from the relative safety of her home tries to convince her that his far-fetched story is true. Meanwhile, a professional hitman (Max von Sydow – “Flash Gordon”, “Minority Report”) is closing in. This Oscar-nominated movie was directed by Sydney Pollack (“Tootsie”, “Out of Africa”), and also stars Cliff Robertson (“Spider-man”) as a CIA chief.

“Condor” is an edgy and effective tale of governmental corruption, paranoia and trust. Redford’s character is not a Jason Bourne-style, well-trained CIA field agent; he is more of an academic, but he has the intelligence and instinct to be wary of danger. As von Sydow’s terrifically menacing character says at one point, this makes Turner more unpredictable than an agent might be, and helps to sustain the cat-and-mouse plot.

The film is relatively light on the action front although it does have a terrific fight scene. The best scenes highlight the drama and frequent, tense stand-offs between characters, especially a moment when Turner is uncomfortably confined in a lift with one of his pursuers.

The strained, excellently-acted interplay between Turner and Kathy (Dunaway) also powers the film; like him we are not sure how his captive will react. Will she help or hinder his plans?

The film mostly takes place in New York, with the World Trade Center acting as a metaphor for the scale of the opposition Turner is up against. The bustling city streets also present a startling impression of a desperate man all alone despite being surrounded by countless strangers going about their daily business.

If you like conspiracy movies where the little guy or girl is up against shady organisations wielding overwhelming power and influence, “Condor” will definitely hit the sweet spot. The plot is easy to follow, the characters are believable and well-drawn, and if the state of my fingernails is anything to go by, it certainly succeeds in building atmosphere and tension!

Special features include:

  • New high-definition presentation (which is superb)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Stereo and 5.1 soundtrack options
  • Exclusive new video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall (22 mins)
  • “The Directors: Sydney Pollack” - A career-spanning appreciation of the director's works (60 mins)
  • 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

Hall’s interview covers some interesting background information about the film, including its differences to the original source novel ‘Six Days of the Condor’ by James Grady, the political climate in the world at the time and the cycle of similarly-themed movies in the 1970s and early 1980s such as “The Parallax View” and “Marathon Man”.

“Three Days of the Condor” (1975) is out now on dual-format DVD and Blu-ray (two discs), courtesy of Eureka. The main feature has a running time of 118 minutes approx., carries an '15' certificate and retails for £19.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com.

 

 

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