Three Days of the Condor is a outstanding spy film, filled with tricks galore. The best part? The star, Joe Turner (played by Robert Redford) is not spy or field agent, but simply a reader of everything to do with spying. In fact, most of the tricks he uses come from comics or other books.
- Turner is known for being late, and taking shortcuts. In the beginning, he takes secret, unofficial exit to save time, and unbeknownst to him, it saves his life. Take shortcuts, make your paths and whereabouts unknown.
- After discovering his co-workers massacred, he grabs a gun from desk of co-worker for protection. Make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself.
- Leaving the scene of a crime in which he was most likely supposed to be murdered, he leaves his bike to avoid suspicion that he is actually alive. Notice that he leaves immediately, rather than staying there and possibly running into the murderers. Scenes of crimes are usually not safe. Get out.
- Now suspicious, Turner returns to a familiar apartment, a poor choice, and discovers men coming up the stairs. In order to avoid being seen, he travels further up the stairs, rather than go down, out the window or another apartment. Avoid the unknown as much as possible until safety is assured.
- When he learns from his landlord that two “friends” are waiting to see him, he immediately leaves. Ditto.
- In this situation, he suspicious of bosses, which is an excellent move. Trust no one.
- Scheduling a meet up, Turner demands a familiar face to meet him. When meeting the untrustworthy, get the trustworthy to come along.
- Turner remains vigilant when meeting someone in an alley, even though “safety” is so close. As Mad Eye Moody says, “Constant vigilance!”
- When fleeing, he takes cover in a shop, rather than exhaust himself. Use your brains, not your force.
- Needing a cover, he chooses a woman in a store, overhears her name so that he can feign the identity of an old friend, and forces her to take him to her home for cover. Find a cover, quickly and preferably someone you don’t know. Connections can be traced.
- Taking the woman as a hostage, he realizes how tired he is, and to get some rest has her lie down next to him and covers her with a gun for insurance. Resting with someone under your arm can alert you quickly when the subject tries to get away.
- Confused as to what really happened and interested to find out more information, Turner turns on the television to get the latest updates. Look at the news. It can help you form a better picture of your situation.
- In order to incapacitate his hostage, he uses pantyhose to tie her up. Get creative. Use anything to tie someone up.
- When calling a friend’s apartment, the call is unanswered, leaving him highly suspicious that foul play is involved. Assume the worst, hope for the best, and don’t be naive about the little things.
- In an elevator, he rides down with his assassin (unknown to him). However, he is still nervous, insisting the man go first, most likely thinking of back stabbing. Try to keep your back against a solid wall to prevent unnecessary surprises.
- Still suspicious of the man that is in fact his assassin, Turner offers tells kids $5 to walk him to his car. This helps create chaos around him, making him a hard target, and a gunman might have to kill a young adult. People are protection. However, one truly crazy assassin might not care. Don’t assume.
- When Turner returns to his hostage’s apartment, he finds the phone ringing, and it doesn’t stop ringing. In order to relieve suspicion, he gets the girl to answer at gunpoint. Always attempt to keep a normal facade as much as possible, so as not to arouse suspicion.
- In order to try and understand what has happened and to figure out what to do next, Turner writes down everything that happened. Confused? Write everything down.
- When a “postman” comes in for a signature, Turner realizes quickly that the man is not a postal worker from his shoes. Try to identify things that aren’t right, or normal.
- After identifying the fake postman, Turner reacts quickly, throwing coffee in the armed man’s face. React quickly to what isn’t normal. Hot beverages help slow enemies down.
- As Turner begins to fight, he grabs a poker from the fireplace as a weapon. Improvise. Many instruments around the house can have a double use.
- In a fight, Turner pulls the rug out, to disorient his opponent. Do anything to disarm, disorient and harm your opponent.
- He frisks the newly dead man to discover keys and papers, which he takes for later use. Just because something doesn’t seem helpful at the moment, doesn’t mean it won’t be useful later on. Take as much as possible without letting it slow you down.
- Tracing down connections, Turner gets his hostage/partner to go into an agency, pretend to get lost, and identify man. Learn the identity of those close to your issue.
- After identifying the man, Turner follows him, and forces him into his car for information. Never lose sight of your objective, and gather as much information as possible to help put together a clear picture.
- With the key found on the dead man, he identifies a hotel room and bugs the hotel room phone. Keys tell more than you think. Ask locksmiths for more information on a key.
- Turner records the sound of a man dialing a phone number, and then inputs that into a computer to decode the phone number. There are several applications out there, but I would love to see a website that does that easily. I’d even host it for you! (In technical terms, it would be an online DTMF decoder.) Contact me for more details.
- When phoning a government agency, he assumes that the call is being traced, and makes it from inside a phone company, linking together phones to prevent the trace. Assume your phone call is being traced. Make your call short and sweet, and if possible, make it hard to trace.
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The writer of this post compiles the latest tech news and more at Squealing Rat and recently started a new project, Stretching Cow, which compiles links for educators. Find him on Twitter.
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Photo: Leo Reynolds