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Marathon Man (1976)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 36,802 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 80 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:

One man's dangerous attempts to clear his father's name. 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

During the torture scene, Szell indicates he is afflicted with alexia. Alexia is a brain disorder in which a person is unable to understand written words. Sometimes also called acquired dyslexia, it refers specifically to the loss, usually in adulthood, of a previous ability to read . See more »

Goofs

The man helping the fuel oil truck driver back up into the street exhales condensation, indicating that the weather is cold. This is despite the fact that a radio announcer has previously stated that the weather is unseasonably warm. See more »

Quotes

[When Elsa leaves the library, Babe hesitates, and then runs after her. He finds her as she is climbing the stairs to her apartment and makes small talk, trying to prolong the conversation. When she keeps walking away, he bursts into an honest confession]
Babe: Look, I'm sorry I stole your book.
Elsa Opel: What?
Babe: I took your book and put it underneath mine. I, I didn't know how to talk to you, I was embarrassed, so I took your book.
Elsa Opel: Aren't you embarrassed now?
Babe: Yeah. I'm, I'm humiliated.
Elsa Opel: So, why do you pursue ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Midsomer Murders: Blood on the Saddle (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Dors, o cité oerverse
(1881)
(from 'Hérodiade')
Music by Jules Massenet (as Massenet)
Libretto by Paul Milliet (uncredited) and Henry Grémont (uncredited)
Sung by Joseph Rouleau, with the The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra)
Conducted by John Matheson
Courtesy of London and Decca Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid (and Depressing) Thriller
2 November 2006 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

1970s movies are so cynical, aren't they? Dark, depressing, and often grainy-looking and washed out. "Marathon Man" fits that description. It's good, of course - very good - but it's not exactly a good time. Know what I mean?

William Goldman, one of Hollywood's few celebrity screenwriters, wrote both the original novel and the script for this film version. I find him a bit overrated, but here he does a good job of elevating hack-level thriller material into a sort of art form. The beginning of the film is particularly well-written and intriguing, since it's full of creepy and cryptic events that are not immediately explained. But, alas, I find the ultimate explanation of these events to be rather prosaic and disappointing.

So, I think the movie's strengths lie in the acting and directing, more so than the story. Olivier and Scheider give particularly great performances, and Marthe Keller comes across as appropriately sweet and sexy (her big "secret," though, should be really easy for anyone to guess!) I'm a little less enamored of Dustin Hoffman, whose character is inexplicably nicknamed "Babe." He's just way too old to be a typical graduate student (almost forty years old, to be precise), and he simply doesn't have much charisma to me. Usually I like normal-looking, non-glamorous actors, but somehow Hoffman doesn't float my boat.

Still, it's hard not to sympathize with the poor guy while he's being pursued, beaten, tortured etc. The "dental horror" scene is still quite effective, though it's rather short; I was more impressed by the subsequent chase through the dark streets of NYC. (The city, by the way, looks like a hellish, crime-infested, debris-strewn pit in this movie - like it does in most 1970s productions!)

In the end, "Marathon Man" isn't quite another "French Connection," but it's got more than enough suspense to crush a lot of the dross that infests theaters today. It's worth watching just for the terrifying scene when the bad guys start tearing Hoffman's door off its hinges - it's good stuff.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
A puzzling part of the film? elliot_condous
Deleted airport fight scene and uncut version Nick7080
This film is insulting Skylab23
Is it safe? jamie147
Roy Scheider scenes = James Bond (serious!) heisenberg83
What was Doc trying to say? Rhapthorne
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