Is It Still Paranoia if You’re Right?

Sydney Pollack’s movie, Three Days of the Condor (1975), is a thrilling but sometimes confusing film surrounding a government scandal. Robert Redford portrays a young CIA operative who reads books from all over the world attempting to uncover secret plots that could be potentially threatening to the US. He stumbles across one that ultimately is being run by the CIA.  For this reason, one of the higher ups in the CIA takes out a hit on him and his entire unit to keep them from finding out anything more. He manages to avoid being killed and uses his various skills to uncover exactly what he found and why his own government is trying to assassinate him. He discovers that the reason they are attempting to kill him is that he found the US government’s potential plans to invade the Middle East (and various other countries) in order to take all of their oil. They make no apologies and claim that they had to have a response for all situations, many of these responses lack the people’s assent. They make no apologies for the murders and the threats and all of the other consequences. This is an extremely chilling note for the movie to end on, especially with the Watergate scandal still fresh in everyone’s minds. With all of these things said, Three Days of the Condor emphasizes a need for government transparency in order to prevent secret internal agendas from dismantling the country.


Topic Sentence 1: A culture of secrecy can lead to secret agendas that are taken too far and can ultimately put the country and all of its’ people in a great deal of danger. The film makes it very clear that the plan to take over the Middle Eastern oil fields was “just a game,” however the actions of one man, CIA Deputy Director of Operations Leonard Attwood, almost made it an issue for the entire nation.


Topic Sentence 2: The measures taken to ensure that these secret plans are well hidden often make a situation even worse once they are uncovered and lead to further distrust of the government. The lack of care portrayed by the CIA in the movie at the lives lost in order to cover up their internal scandal would most likely lead to further disgust at the government, just like it did with the Watergate cover ups.

Topic Sentence 3: The idea that the American people should know and have some say in what their government does is prevalent throughout the movie. The general fear of getting involved in another situation like Vietnam would be terrifying to many and probably prevent whatever this secret plan to invade the Middle East was from happening. This rings true for all times throughout American history.

This entry was posted in Blog #4. Refining Thesis Statements and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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