Starring: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max Von Sydow
Director: Sydney Pollack
Joe Turner (Redford), code named Condor, is a CIA analyst who comes in from lunch to find his entire unit killed. Up til now, his skills have involved reading widely from different sources, but now he finds himself thrust into the world of espionage and on the run. While hiding in her flat, Turner finds an unlikely friend in Kathy Hale (Dunaway), and they race against time to find out who killed his colleagues and why.
The film was released following various scandals in the CIA that had come to light as well as Watergate. The public’s trust was at an all time low, and the film tapped into the general feelings of paranoia and fear.
It’s a tightly paced and entertaining film, with plot twists that would have felt all too real in the mid-seventies. Redford is always an able lead, and here he has exciting material to work with. Dunaway feels real as a woman who is won over by his honest face, who falls for him, even though he breaks into her house and she is initially his hostage. And of course, Max Von Sydow is always darkly delightful as a villain. A classic political thriller, with 70’s styling, it’s well worth a watch.
See It If: Wonderful central performances and a tight plot, perhaps a film about government corruption is as pertinent now as it was in the 70’s.