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According to Director Sydney Pollack, Three Days of the Condor is all about one thing: suspicion.
Pollack said, “…it's about a man in a paranoid business who trusts everyone—and he turns from that to a man who's suspicious of everyone because of what happens to him.”
Released in 1975, Three Days of the Condor built on the residual effects of political corruption and public distrust, mostly thanks to the Watergate scandal. In fact, while filming, the CIA was revealed to be involved with illegal surveillance and a potential political assassination.
Go behind the spy thriller below!
1. They lost three days.
The film is based on the novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady. The rights for his work were actually purchased before it was even published. In making the story more cinematic, the main character’s journey was trimmed down to only three days. Additionally, Faye Dunaway’s character was originally a secretary, but Director Sydney Pollack thought that changing her profession to a photographer would be more dramatic.
2. Redford broke his nose.
In one especially thrilling scene, Robert Redford finds himself in a fight against a man disguised as a mailman. That man was played by actor Hank Garrett. During their sequence, Redford slipped (thanks to the prop coffee), and Garrett accidently hit him, making him bleed. Garrett wanted to get the director, but Redford powered through to finish the scene. Later, Redford called his scene-mate to rave about what they filmed and tell him that his nose was broken.
3. Pay attention to Redford’s hands.
Redford is naturally left-handed. However, in Condor, he carries out most of his actions with his right hand. That is, except for one noticeable thing – writing. Redford’s character was poked fun at by another film with a similar title: Condorman. The spy spoof included the line: “Not everyone in the CIA is Robert Redford”. Redford’s looks also caught the attention of his co-star Faye Dunaway. She jokingly remembered the difficulty of having to act scared of him and said, “You can't have those feelings about Redford… he's just so gorgeous!"