In the same year that Jean-Paul Belmondo became a celebrated film star with Breathless, the career of a man who belongs to the greatest personalities of American cinema also began, Robert Redford. He has thrilled us in front of and behind the camera in countless films. In 1975, Redford, who is still politically active today, clashed with the CIA in Sydney Pollack’s masterpiece Three Days of the Condor.
ACTIVIST & GENIUS ROBERT REDFORD
Robert Redford is not only a gifted actor and director. For many years, he has been an active advocate for Native American and LGBT rights, as well as environmental protection. By doing so, he supports organizations such as Sea Shepherd, to whose advisory board he belonged, or the Natural Resources Defense Council. Additionally, Robert Redford writes columns on political and environmental issues. In 2016, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his commitment.
But first and foremost, Robert Redford is a brilliant actor. And what an actor he is. Back in 1965, he played a bisexual movie star in “Inside Daisy Clover” – a unique role by the standards of the time. For his courage, Redford won a Golden Globe.
After this, he played (on equal footing) with Jane Fonda for the first time. First in Arthur Penn’s “The Chase” (1966), immediately after in Gene Saks’ “Barefoot in the Park” (1967) and then again together in Sydney Pollack’s “The Electric Horseman” (1979).
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR
Together with Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford also produced the film Three Days of the Condor.
Joseph Turner – code name “Condor” – is an employee in an insignificant New York CIA office. At least that’s how it seems – until the day he finds his colleague and lover murdered in cold blood in the office. Desperate, Turner approaches the CIA headquarters looking for help. But Condor quickly realizes that he must act on his own if he wants to escape with his life. The killers are already on his track.
Much like the French crook Michel in Breathless, Turner seeks help from a beautiful woman. Kathy Hale is a photographer and terrified when Condor forces her to help him. Slowly, however, she befriends Turner and eventually helps him to execute his plan.
Sydney Pollack’s intelligent and highly suspenseful political thriller, still red-hot decades after its release, is one of the classics of 1970s paranoia film.
The young Robert Redford shines in his role as a smart bookworm. Turner is the antitype of the typical agent role that was prevalent at the time. He’s not a tough-as-nails CIA agent, but he knows how to defend himself against the probably most powerful secret service organization in the world.
Pictures: © STUDIOCANAL