Marathon Man (BD) [Blu-ray]
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Doc Levy (Roy Scheider) is an American secret agent who has been running interference between the US 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 hi ding place and heads for New York. He has Doc killed, then kidnaps Doc's in-the-dark brother Babe (Dustin Hoffman). Repeating the ph rase "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 nonvio lence to defend himself against his pursuers. The fox becomes the hound when Babe overpowers Szell and forces the old man to swallow his valuable diamonds. Marathon Man traces Babe Levy's progression from pacifistic naif to cynical street-smart scrapper.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
Dustin Hoffman portrays the Columbia University graduate student and marathon runner who becomes caught up in a deadly game involving smuggled diamonds belonging to a Nazi fugitive (Laurence Olivier). Hoffman's brother (Roy Scheider) was one of the couriers helping to transport the diamonds, which are now in a safety deposit box in a Manhattan bank; and when Olivier kills Scheider, it is assumed by Olivier and his henchmen that Hoffman knows something about them. He is strapped to a dental chair in an abandoned warehouse, forced to undergo dental torture at the hands of the Nazi, who had been a dentist. Olivier keeps asking him numerous time, "Is It Safe?" (regarding the diamond stash). Hoffman doesn't know a thing, but this doesn't stop Olivier from performing a root canal--one of the most squeamish sequences in cinematic history.
Excellently directed by John Schlesinger and scripted by William Goldman (from his own novel), MARATHON MAN features a typically fine performance by Hoffman as the man in the middle, and Olivier, arguably the greatest actor that ever lived, as the very devious Nazi fugitive. Scheider, who was brilliant in JAWS, scores more points here, as do William Devane and Marthe Keller. The opening sequence, a vicious and somewhat hilarious car-to-car argument between an irate Jew and Olivier's brother which ends in a collision with an oil truck, sets the story's machinations off, and is deftly handled by Schlesinger in a manner Hitchcock would have admired.
If you have a fear of dentists, of course, you may want to steer clear of MARATHON MAN. But if intense suspense is your game, this is as good a film to start with.
MARATHON MAN stands out as quite different from other chase and thriller films that seek to capitalize on the genocide of the war. Here, Dustin Hoffman plays Tom as decidedly unheroic. He can run fast and far, and shows creative talent in tight situations, but he is no fist fighter. He is constantly bullied and beaten by a variety of thuggish types. He endures a brutally realistic session as a prisoner in a dentist's chair when Szell uses his dental skills to extract facts rather than molars. Yet,despite Tom's lack of martial skills, he proves every bit the equal of spy types who kill for a living. As convincing a job as Hoffman does as Tom, the real star is Olivier as the demented dentist Szell. Olivier is absolutely convincing as the former camp commandant who will stop at nothing to retrieve the stolen diamonds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had not seen this movie since it came out many years ago. I was afraid it was going to be dated to the point of distraction like The Big Easy which I loved when it came out but... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Wixie
This contemporary looking classic if filled with action and suspense and the undercurrents of espionage, double crossing & deception. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kytka Hilmar-Jezek
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