Paramount Home Video
Cast: Robert Redford, Max Von Sydow, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson
Extras: Theatrical Trailer
I have always had very fond memories of Sydney Pollack's "3 Days Of The Condor" and when Paramount Home Entertainment announced a high definition version of this 70s spy thriller I was very excited. Time to take a look at this Blu-Ray version.
Joe Turner (Robert Redford) is Condor, a CIA agent who's job it is to sift through books and papers that are being published across the world to see if the writings contain anything that could be of value to the US government. It is a low profile job that – while operating in complete secrecy – doesn't have the same allure as that of a spy on the street.
All that changes when one day hitmen arrive at the undercover offices and kill everyone – except Turner who had used a backdoor to get lunch. Upon his return he finds the offices devastated, his friends dead and nowhere to go. He places a call into CIA headquarters to report the incident and to ask for help, but he quickly realizes that he has to be very careful who to trust. Who would kill a bunch of government bookworms, and why? Joe Turner is determined to find out and the more he finds out, the more he becomes convinced that this was an inside job.
"3 Days Of The Condor" is a fascinating spy thriller that works nicely and has a lot of charm. However, it has not aged as gracefully as some other genre films. Not only does the setting itself feel dated, as well as the premise, but sadly the film's direction has 70s written all over it. It is slow at times, a little psychedelic at others, dialogue comes across stilted more than once and overall the plot just doesn't have the juice more contemporary films offer.
Featuring a cool cast that features Robert Redford in the lead and Max Von Sydow as the antagonist – a role he always plays well – the movie also stars Faye Dunaway in the weird part of Turner's kidnap victim, turned lover-bordering-on-rape-victim turned seduced friend turned companion.
Paramount Home Entertainment has created a great-looking high definition transfer for the movie on this release and I found very little complain about. There is a bit of grain evident in a number of the movie's scenes, intentionally adding to the grittiness of the film. The muted color palette is well reproduced, making the best of the color accents that are deliberately planted in the frame at times, while also ensuring a natural looking presentation throughout. Black levels are solid, giving the image the visual depth it needs to add the right level of visual suspense and shadowy character to the film.
A Dolby Digital 5.1 TrueHD audiop track completes the presentation. The remix uses the original elements and places them in a surround field to good effect. Never overly aggressive or overtly going for effect, the track has a nice active quality with a good frequency response that manages to belie the film's period and production limitations.
As extras you will find a high definition version of the movie's trailer on the disc.
"3 Days Of The Condor" is a solid thriller that keeps you guessing and on the edge. It may not be as action-laden as modern day genre entries, but for fans of vintage 70s thrillers, this film is definitely a release to check out in more detail.