Redford’s ‘Condor’ run remains thrilling

EPIX shows Sydney Pollack-directed suspense tale

Robert Redford in “Three Days of the Condor”

During the Watergate era, the conspiracy thriller was one of the most popular movie genres, and “Three Days of the Condor” is one of its best examples. Being shown by EPIX on Thursday, Sept. 22, the Sydney Pollack-directed 1975 drama inspired the recent series “Condor” … which kept the basic theme of a fugitive (played here by Robert Redford) on the run after assassins (led by a suave Max von Sydow) commit a massacre at his workplace, a disguised New York research office for the CIA.

Represented coldly and superbly by Cliff Robertson, they leave him on his own to draw fire …. and to figure out why he and his late colleagues became targets. Needing shelter, Redford’s Joe Turner randomly kidnaps a customer from a store he’s ducked into; she’s played by Faye Dunaway, making for a very photogenic couple.

More Retro Rewinds

“Quantum Leap” (Syfy, Monday, Sept. 19): NBC launches a new revision of this fantasy-drama series this week, so it’s not a huge surprise that the original version also is present as it starts weekly Monday marathons. Scott Bakula plays Dr. Sam Beckett, who “leaps” through space and time into the lives of other people, giving him quite a vast sampling of the human experience. Dean Stockwell also stars as Al, the wise-guy hologram guiding Sam through his adventures.

“A Christmas Story” (Turner Classic Movies, Monday, Sept. 19): If you don’t know by now which gift Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) most wants to find under the tree, where have you been the past almost-40 years? One of the most popular holiday-season tales gets an early workout in a night of movies involving radio (think “Little Orphan Annie” in this case) … and here’s a special shout-out to Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon, both perfect as our young, pink-bunny-pajama-wearing hero’s parents.

“Our Miss Brooks” (Decades, Saturday, Sept. 24): This schoolteacher comedy scored a rare triple-header in the media … succeeding first as a radio series, then in this television-series version, and later as a 1956 movie. Eve Arden has the title role, with later Lucille Ball sidekick Gale Gordon and a young Richard Crenna also prominent in the cast. This all-weekend “Decades Binge” of the show extends through the following Sunday into early Monday morning.

“Black Sheep Squadron” (Heroes & Icons, Saturday, Sept. 24): Thanks to such other shows as “Hawaiian Eye” and “The Wild Wild West,” Robert Conrad was one of TV’s most established stars by the time he started this military drama (also known as “Baa Baa Black Sheep”) about the real-life Major Greg “Pappy” Boyington and his group of marine fighter pilots. This showing of the series’ two-hour opener also features John Larroquette and Dirk Blocker.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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