LORELAI: How about a triple feature? Three Days of the Condor, Shoah, and The Jerk?
RORY: Uh, Shoah’s like nine and a half hours.
LORELAI: But The Jerk is short.
Lorelai chooses three well-regarded films that are completely different from each other in subject and tone, in contrast to triple features in real life, which are usually connected in some way.
Three Days of the Condor, 1975 political thriller directed by Sydney Pollack, based on the 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady. Robert Redford plays a bookish CIA analyst working covertly at a historical society who has to outwit those responsible for massacring his colleagues while he was at lunch. It was well reviewed and won several awards. It was made into a television series, 2018-2020.
Shoah, 1985 French documentary about the Holocaust (known as “Shoah” in Hebrew), directed by Claude Lanzmann. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann’s interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps. Hailed as a masterpiece, it won several prominent awards. It was released on video in 2000.
The Jerk, 1979 comedy directed by Carl Reiner, and starring Steve Martin in his debut screen role (he also co-wrote the screenplay). It’s a ludicrous, picaresque tale of rags to riches to rags to riches, with Martin playing a naïve white man who is the adopted son of black sharecroppers, standing out for his skin colour and lack of rhythm. It was a box office smash, becoming the #8 film of the year, was praised by critics, and is considered one of the funniest films of all time. It has a running time of 95 minutes.