Marathon Man (1976)
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No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Movie InfoDoc Levy (Roy Scheider) is an American secret agent who has been running interference between the U.S. government and escaped Nazi war criminal Szell (Laurence Olivier). Believing that Doc has stolen a valuable cache of gems, Szell emerges from his South American hiding place and heads for New York. He has Doc killed, then kidnaps Doc's in-the-dark brother, Babe (Dustin Hoffman). Repeating the phrase "Is it safe?" over and over, Szell, a onetime concentration camp dentist, tries to extract information from Babe by performing sadistic "oral surgery" upon him. Babe, who still doesn't know about the gems, escapes, breaking his own self-imposed rule of nonviolence to defend himself against his pursuers and gearing up for sadistic revenge. … More
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Critic Reviews for Marathon Man
Schlesinger's stylish political thriller features Olivier as an old, nasty Nazi, in a splashy role that earned him Oscar nomination.
If this doesn't turn you against going to the dentist, nothing will. Terrifying, pulsating film w/Hoffman.
Scheider looks great as the well-dressed cool guy and Olivier turns in his most notoriously frightening performance.
Do acidente de carro que abre a história ao confronto final em uma estação de esgoto, o filme jamais consegue ser convincente; e a única cena realmente eficaz do longa é aquela ambientada num bairro judeu.
Although best-known for its infamous "Is it safe?" sequence, Marathon Man is a whole lot better than just one horrific scene.
Teeth-clenching, white-knuckle thriller!
Not sure this deserves to be a classic, but certainly a competently made thriller.
Decent thriller about purloined diamonds and nazi war criminals. The interrogation scene will make you cringe.
Taught, scary and still lots of fun.
Armchair dentistry! Ouch!
First-rate thriller. Olivier is horrifying. A great movie.
Stylish thriller with a classic Olivier performance
Marathon Man desperately yearns for acceptance among the canon of socially important, gritty, subversive 1970s 'New School' films.
an interesting, but deeply flawed and often bizarre thriller
...not a genuinely convincing thriller, but one that makes us think we're seeing something more important than it is because of the virtues of its participants.
Audience Reviews for Marathon Man
An original though flawed story of a student (Dustin Hoffman) who gets involved in a sinister plot involving diamonds and a sadistic Nazi (Laurence Olivier), who wants desperately to claim what he feels is his. This is a thriller inside and out, no questioning that, but the way the story is put together leaves a lot to be desired. There are tons of holes and the way the film ends is far from satisfying. Laurence Olivier turns in a terrifying performance as the dentist drilling psycho, while Hoffman, Roy Scheider, and William Devane all give admirable performances. Director John Schlesinger has a dark, nihilistic viewpoint of New York City, and there are certain scenes in which this disturbing landscape adds a lot to the story. Sadly, his story needed more closure and less melodramatic acts to come across as completely convincing and worthwhile.More
This is Marathon Man, a suspense thriller directed by John Schlesinger and written by William Goldman, based on his novel of the same name. The story concerns "Babe" Levy, a history PhD candidate and avid runner who becomes unwillingly involved in a dangerous web of espionage and intrigue concerning a fugitive Nazi dentist named Dr. Christian Szell, and a cache of ill-gotten diamonds.
This film, while it does have some action scenes and some very intense moments, is primarily concerned with focusing on atmosphere, tension, and suspense, and, in that regard, the film delivers in spades. The music really heightens the wonderful atmosphere created by some excellent cinematography. This is a gritty film frought with paranoia.
As Babe, Dustin Hoffman is quite likeable, and you really root for him as he plays a guy way in over his head over circumstances beyond his control and comprehension. Hoffman did some really dark films in this 70s, and it would be awesome to see him return to that world before he either retires or dies. As Babe's brother Doc, Roy Scheider is as reliable as always, and gives a good turn as a man who, unbeknownst to his brother, is a government agent heavily involved in the hunt for Szell. And, speaking of Szell, I'm amazed that they got Laurence Olivier to sign up for this one. He delivers a phenomenal performance, and his ruthlessly calm demeanor and delivery make an already chilling and sadistic man even more so.
Given that this is a 70s film, it is expectedly gritty and edgy, and I love it even more as a result. The details are a tad murky, but it is a spy thriller, so that's part of the territory. All in all though, this is a wonderfully written, skillfully directed, and superbly acted thriller that really delivers some exciting stuff, and really makes you reconsider going to a dentist any time soon.
I love the unusual air of mystery that surrounds Marathon Man, but considering how much trouble I'm having thinking of anything else productive to say about it, I'm assuming that's more or less where the appeal ends. Its age both champions and betrays it, as it was clearly a much stronger product in 1976 but it seems so completely diminished at this point that its merits can be difficult to see offhand. Well-acted, intriguing and handsome, it's nonetheless a bit of a slog, and feels oddly unimportant now.More
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