3 Days of the Condor

 

3 Days of the Condor

Directed by Sidney Pollack

Based on the novel "Six Days of the Condor"

by James Grady

1975


Cast:

Robert Redford

Faye Dunaway

Cliff Robertson

Max Von Sydow


Production:

Theatrical: Stanley Schneider

Video: Paramount Home Entertainment


Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Region: All

Disc Size: 41.15 GB

Feature Size: 39.93 GB

Average bit rate: 45.36 Mbps

Runtime: 117 minutes

Chapters: 16

Release date: May 19th, 2009

 

Audio:

English Dolby TrueHD 5.1.

Spanish & French Dolby Digital 5.1


Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish & Portuguese


Extras

• Theatrical Trailer in HD


Standard Blu-ray case

Release Date: May 19, 2009

Comment

The Movie : 8

Alongside all of the incarnations of King Kong, 3 Days of the Condor is one of the more fascinating explorations of what has come to be known as the “Stockholm Syndrome."  In the facile hands of screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (the TV Batman, Papillon, The Parallax View, the 1976 King Kong, Flash Gordon), Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway may have pulled off the impossible: that we should come to accept that a randomly kidnapped woman should come to identify with the objectives of her kidnapper – a man whose defense of his actions to her admittedly reeks of paranoia. In any case, to watch these two pros dance their way from, through and into a political thriller is a joy to behold.


1975 was a banner year for cinema, and Condor may have gotten a little lost alongside the likes of One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, Shampoo, Dog Day Afternoon, Toute une vie, Barry Lyndon, Amarcord, Nashville, Jaws, L'histoire d'Adele H., and The Man Who Would Be King.  Yet today I think the movie holds up quite well.  The spy thriller machinations of the story do not embarrass; Owen Roizman's cinematography is state of the art in the truest sense and never brings attention to itself as was common in the early seventies (what with the love affair with the zoooom lens in bloom); there are no out of place Oscar-reaching songs; Sydney Pollack's direction of Robert Redford (this would be their 4th of 7 films together) and Faye Dunaway make the impossible: plausible.  OK, let's be honest and thorough here: Cliff Robertson's hair is idiotic.  Max Von Sydow as the soft-spoken professional assassin, Joubert, is a marked contrast to the Malkovich-types we’ve seen in more recent times.  And then there are the multiple appearances of the World Trade Towers that loom over New York City like a ghostly special effect: their fate from our perspective only enhances the war games theme of the story.


Lorenzo Semple Jr's adaptation of James Grady's novel is just as smart, sharp and sassy as it was 30-odd years ago. I was stunned to review the Oscar list and discover its absence in this category.


Kathy: You're not entitled to personal questions! That gun gives you the right to rough me up; it doesn't give you the right to ask me...

Turner: Rough you up? Have I roughed you up?

Kathy: Yes! What are you doing in my house?

Turner: Have I? Have I?

Kathy: Going through all my stuff? Force...

Turner: Have I raped you?

Kathy: The night is young.


The Score Card

Image : 7/8

The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray video discs on a ten-point scale.  The second number places this image along the full range of DVD and Blu-ray discs.


While the image may not have the kind of resolution or breadth of contrast we find in a Bourne Ultimatum or Goldfinger, it is nonetheless sharp and fairly immaculate.  I found no obtrusive manipulations or enhancements.  On the contrary, the image is every bit as grainy as it must have been 30-odd years ago.


Audio & Music : 7/8

Condor is a relatively subtle and subdues thriller by today’s standards.  The few times that there is gunfire it is a surprise even though we see it coming.  The uncompressed Dolby TrueHD mix helps put this over.  The attack on the Historical Library is an excellent case in point, as we are carefully suspended in the midst of computer and printer noises between bursts of automatic weapons fire, followed by the falling down a stair or over a desk.  There is a bizarre and very dark humor to these moments that the audio mix does its part to bring off.


Operations : 6

There's very little to the unanimated menu page, though what's there is a piece of cake to navigate. 


Extras : 0

Zip.


Recommendation : 7

Too bad about the lack of extras. I guess Paramount doesn’t think as highly of this movie as I do, since there are no interviews with Dunaway, Redford or Robertson, or a commentary by a film historian. Nevertheless 3 Days of the Condor is a classic of the genre with a special resonance for our times.  The image and audio recover more than I had hoped.  Recommended.


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

May 11, 2009


     





          
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