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Marathon Man (1976)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 37,993 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 79 critic

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

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(screenplay), (from: his novel)
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Title: Marathon Man (1976)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Doc
...
...
...
Richard Bright ...
Karl
...
Erhard
Allen Joseph ...
Babe's Father
Tito Goya ...
Ben Dova ...
Lou Gilbert ...
Rosenbaum
Jacques Marin ...
LeClerc
James Wing Woo ...
Chen
Nicole Deslauriers ...
Nicole
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Storyline

In New York City, the brother of an infamous Nazi war criminal is killed in a head on collision car accident. Shortly thereafter, members of a covert US government group called "The Division" begin to be murdered one by one. When the brother to one Division member sees his brother knifed to death, it is revealed that former SS dentist Szell, "the White Angel" of Auschwitz, is wrapping up loose ends to smuggle priceless diamonds from the United States. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thriller. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

8 October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maratonmannen  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,766,051 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A story circulated for a long time that Dustin Hoffman (being a "method actor") stayed up all night to play a character who has stayed up all night. Arriving on the set, Laurence Olivier asked Hoffman why he looked the way he did. Hoffman told him, to which Olivier replied in jest, "Why not try acting? It's much easier." Hoffman repeatedly denied the story, and finally cleared up the matter in 2004. The torture scene was filmed early in the morning, Hoffman was going through a divorce from his first wife and was depressed, and had spent the previous two nights partying hard. Hoffman told Olivier this and his comment related to his lifestyle and not his "method" style of acting. See more »

Goofs

When the father's body is shown after his suicide with the pistol, the hammer on the pistol is down. When one shoots a pistol, the hammer remains in the cocked position until the last round when the slide remains retracted. See more »

Quotes

Old Lady on 47th Street: [recognizing Szell across 47th Street] Szell!... Szell!... Szell!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits scroll with Babe's jogging route as a backdrop. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Neugierige
(1823)
Music by Franz Schubert
Performed by Fritz Wunderlich tenor
Used by arrangement with Polydor Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Emperor has no clothes.
4 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

Ok, I like Dustin Hoffman. I like Roy Scheider, and Lawrence Olivier was a great actor. Fine. The dentist scene is visceral and creepy and quite memorable. Fine. People I respect have said many positive things about William Goldman. OK.

Having said that, this movie rates HIGH on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. The plot is unthinkably, profoundly inane and laughable and nonsensical. I.N.A.N.E. Let me get this right, and I am quoting other commenters here, `a Columbia graduate student (Hoffman) unwittingly thrust into a game of deadly international intrigue when his brother (Scheider) is killed by a Nazi fugitive (Olivier) looking to smuggle a stash of diamonds he had left over from World War II after escaping justice' (virek213) and `Dustin Hoffman plays a marathon runner whose CIA brother is killed by an evil former nazi played by Laurence Olivier.' (Adam Morrison). You're kidding, right? Take out the words `Olivier' and `Hoffman' and we have the makings of a plot that doesn't even pass the laugh test.

Ask yourself, why is Hoffman's character involved? Because, ala Dr. Evil, Olivier stabs Scheider BUT DOESN'T KILL HIM. He just leaves. I mean, just slit the guy's throat. Come on. Even Scott Evil knows this. Just get a gun and shoot the dude. Oh, wait, I forgot, we have to leave him there, NOT QUITE DEAD, so that we can spend an enormous amount of complicated energy panicking about whether the guy we easily could have killed happened to say anything to anyone before he died. Brilliant. I mean, did any of you people think of this when you wrote your reviews? I am not making this up - there are POSITIVE reviews for this farce here.

Think this one through. I am an evil Nazi dentist. I decide to send a woman, a spy, to America, to seduce the brother of an American spy that I work with, so that I can. oh Jesus, I don't know. maybe if later and we're in a fantastical scenario where I need to kill the brother/find the brother, then she can - surprise - turn on him, since she will be the person he relies on, HE WILL BE COMPLETELY FOILED, and I will have succeeded! As part of this clever strategy, I send my goons (one of whom comically limps - where was the `BWAHAHAHAHA!'?, one of whom is Al Neri, on loan from Michael Corleone) to beat them up! Why? Who knows? Best not to ask!

I keep my diamonds in a bank in New York City. As the William Devane character says, `and now he's [Olivier] going to expose himself to incredible risk!' to come get the diamonds. Smart. Good plan. NYC. Good place to keep all my valuables, so if I ever need 'em, it will be INCREDIBLY RISKY to get 'em. But only risky because my brother, who had the key all along and could have just walked in there and gotten the diamonds at any time, ever, has just died because he could not overcome his evil irresistible impulse and ran into (I am not making this up) a gas truck, which exploded.

As for the scene at the house. I am just at a loss. I don't even know where to start. There are 5 people at the house, and 0 out of 5 of them behave with any logic. If you think from each of their standpoints what they are doing, and really try to puzzle it out, it's just nonsensical. I think the writers just decided, OK, everybody needs to be dead at the end of this scene, except for Hoffman. Then they tried to work backward and figure out how this whole shootout would actually play out, logically. Then they said, screw it, and went to lunch.

It's important, when you want to keep a low profile in an area where you could be recognized, and also you're an evil Nazi with a past, to bark at Jewish people in a screamy sort of ordering tone, so that you keep yourself disguised and don't jog any memories. And how many seconds before the woman who recognizes the Nazi gets run over by the car was it obvious that this clichéd movie convention was about to happen? For me, it was only about 8 seconds.

The closing scene is just laugh out loud funny. I mean, could it have been more awkward? Did that all take place so that our hero is not gunning someone down and is therefore morally able to claim the high ground? Nazi has to die, but hero can't just kill him. Isn't self-defense a little more standard of a movie convention that they could have gone with? He just trips on the steps and falls? Please. How lame is that? As lame as this whole moronic movie.


53 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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