Where did this pernicious misunderstanding about the practice of librarianship come from? Unfortunately, I think it might have come from the profession itself. Librarians complain endlessly about stereotypes, and like to promote the idea that at the weekend we're all base-jumping, lathe-turning, punk rocking, mountain-bike bog snorkelers. But this is not what most librarians do in their spare time. According to a recent survey, our most popular pastime is... not knitting... 'recreational reading.'
Redford and his six colleagues do their reading for the CIA, to help uncover sinister patterns and terrorist plots. They read terribly quickly, so spend most of their time flirting with one another, and being very clever. When it's Redford turn to pop out for coffee, he impresses the deli customers with his smarts. 'Where am I, the New York Public Library?' says a wise guy. Later, when someone suggests that Redford go 'into the field,' he confesses: 'I'm not a field agent, I just read books!'
But he speaks too soon. When Redford gets out of his office library, and starts kicking ass 'in the field,' one of the bad guys wonders 'Where did he learn evasive moves?' His confrere knows Redford's secret: 'He reads.'
Director: Sydney Pollack
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr., David Rayfiel, based on the novel by James Grady
Cinematography: Owen Roizmann
Editing: Don Guidice
Cast includes Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow