Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I'm not a spy. I just read books.

Here's another favorite film and it's to do with reading. In fact the inciting plot point in the story stems from reading a book. In the story (based on a book) the characters read books for living. It's high stakes,
people's lives are in danger and time is running out. Can you guess?
Here's the movie taglines:

His code name is Condor. In the next seventy-two hours, everyone he trusts will target him for death.
The CIA knows him as Condor. What he knows about them has just made him an endangered species.

Oui, you're right it's from the film, Three Days of the Condor, based on James Grady's book Six Days of the Condor with a young Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It's on Netflix so treat yourself and give it a watch - really holds up!
Here's the clandestine CIA office masked as American Literary Historical Society in New York City where Redford works. He and seven others work for the CIA reading books and searching for hidden meanings that they feed into a computer.  Redford goes out to get lunch in Manhattan for his colleagues and comes back to find them all dead. He's next.

There's obscure elements of Frenchness, maybe only to me, but Redford rides a moped
And wonderful Max Von Sydow who plays a villain with extreme panache

Not to mention the elusive mysterious Faye Dunaway, the photographer who takes minimalist photos of nature

And who the Redford character must convince in desperation to hide him in Brooklyn after he kidnapped her in a sports store:
"Listen. I work for the CIA. I'm not a spy. I just read books. We read everything that's published in the world, and we-- we feed the plots-- dirty tricks, codes into a computer, and the computer checks against actual CIA plans and operations. I look for leaks, new ideas. We read adventures and novels and journals. I-- I can-Who'd invent a job like that? I-- Listen! People are trying to kill me!"

Who'd invent a job like that? Sounds very much like what mystery and crime fiction writers do to me - aren't we always looking for ideas, new ways to commit crime based in reality and get away with it?
Cara -Tuesday


  1. I've never seen it, but I'll need to correct that!

  2. Great idea, Cara, thanks. We've been watching SEVEN MINUTES on Netflix, and we need something a little lighter and fun. :-)

  3. Great. I know what I'm watching tonight. Thanks :-)

  4. I always liked that film but had forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me of it. That’s two great ones in a row. Loved rewatching “The Third Man” with Barbara. Please keep the recommendations coming!

  5. Cara, I love that movie too. Time to watch it AGAIN!!! Thanks for reminding me.

  6. When is Robert Redford not good to watch? (sigh) This was a good movie. "The Third Man" is great.