3 Days of the Condor (Three Days of the Condor) (1975)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Jun-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1975
Running Time 112:15 (Case: 117)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:00) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sydney Pollack
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Robert Redford
Faye Dunaway
Cliff Robertson
Max Von Sydow
John Houseman
Addison Powell
Walter McGinn
Tina Chen
Michael Kane
Don McHenry
Michael B. Miller
Jess Osuna
Dino Narizzano
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Dave Grusin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
Swedish
Finnish
Danish
Norwegian
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Despite their sometimes slightly dated look, I do enjoy films of this era and am always happy to see one which I have not previously had the chance to see, especially one with the reputation of Three Days Of The Condor.

    Three Days of the Condor is an excellent thriller with a good build-up of tension, focusing on innocents caught up in the madness which suddenly envelops them. The main character is Joseph Turner (Robert Redford) who is a low-level analyst for the CIA. His job is to read books and analyse them for coded messages or other useful information. He is not a field operative and only has a military background in the signals corps. One day, seemingly like any other, he heads out to pick up lunch for himself and his co-workers from the local deli. As it is raining he uses a back door which takes him closer to the deli. At the same time, believing all the employees to be inside, an assassin, Joubert (Max Van Sydow) and his accomplices attack the building and kill all his co-workers. Turner obviously comes back to find the bodies and immediately decides to leave. The rest of the movie involves him trying to work out why they were killed and trying to avoid being killed himself. He kidnaps Cathy (Faye Dunaway) so he can use her house and car to hide.

    This film undoubtedly has some dated elements including obviously the computer technology and the opening titles. That computer font absolutely screams 1970s. However, the themes of the film and the reasons behind the attack are very relevant to today as many world events today are occurring for similar reasons. Also, to my mind, a good thriller does not date and is still exciting and intriguing. This film is certainly that - it does an excellent job of only allowing the audience to know as much as the main protagonist knows, thus keeping up the suspense.

    The acting is very good, especially from the main three mentioned above. Faye Dunaway received a Golden Globe nomination for her efforts.

    Overall, if you like a good thriller, you will like this, especially if you are a fan of the stars.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good for a film of this age.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was average with night scenes only showing some details.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. Skin tones were very natural. The colours were not as vibrant as more modern films, but considering the age of the film, they come up very well in this transfer.

    There were quite a few white specks on and off throughout the film - noticeable when you are looking for them but not too bad. Also some minor aliasing was present such as on Robert Redford's jacket at 3:38 and the grilles at 9:56. I also noticed some moire on a television set at 45:05.

    There are subtitles in five languages not including English which is a shame for the hearing impaired. Unfortunately, I do not speak any of the languages involved so cannot comment on their accuracy.

    This is a dual layered disc and the layer change is well placed and not terribly distracting at 50:00.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good, but very front and centre focussed.

    This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. Despite the encoding this sounds more like a 3.1 soundtrack as the surrounds are virtually not used. Considering it was originally in mono, this is not a big issue.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there were no problems with audio sync.    

    The score of this film by Dave Grusin involves a fair amount of sax and sounds quite dated. There is a very cool funk tune played toward the end of the film, however, it is not credited.

    The surround speakers were virtually not used at all.

    The subwoofer was used occasionally for music.

    

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a scene selection function but precious little else.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie is available on a very similar disc in Region 1 with the exception of  the Region 1 disc having an additional Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a trailer. I can't see that these things would make you bother ordering this from the US and the disc is being released at mid price here.

Summary

    This disc contains an excellent thriller from 1975 starring Robert Redford & Faye Dunaway.

    The video quality is very good considering the age of the film.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The disc has no extras, which is shame for a film of this calibre.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, May 31, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews
AllZone4DVD - DonovanS

Comments (Add)
R1 -
New collectors edition -