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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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, the brother of an infamous Nazi war criminal is killed in a head-on collision with an oil truck. Shortly thereafter, members of a covert U.S. government group called the Division begin being murdered one by one. Meanwhile, graduate student and marathon runner Thomas "Babe" Levy researches history as his father, who committed suicide after the Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era ruined his reputation. When he sees his brother, one Division member, stabbed to death, it is revealed that Christian 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

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A thriller. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Marathon-Mann  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,766,051 (Sweden)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film takes place in New York City, at least two sequences were filmed in Los Angeles: the scene where Roy Scheider meets Laurence Olivier was filmed in front of the red steps statue in downtown Los Angeles in the Arco Plaza; and the library scene where Dustin Hoffman meets Marthe Keller was filmed at the Doheny Library on the University of Southern California campus. Coincidentally, Hoffman filmed scenes on the same campus nine years earlier in the landmark The Graduate (1967). See more »

Goofs

When Doc is having his hand bandaged, the length of his cigarette changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Christian Szell: I was in a state of hysteria, you know.
[referring to the open suitcase filled with diamonds]
Christian Szell: Don't you want to take a closer look than that?
Babe: No!
Christian Szell: You see, uh, in a sense, one becomes more emotional with age. First after a lifetime of being taken by friends and enemies alike, and then just when you think you have your possessions sure, your health begins to go.
[laughs]
Christian Szell: That is, of course, the ultimate theft!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Agent for H.A.R.M. (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Neugierige
(1823)
Music by Franz Schubert
Performed by Fritz Wunderlich tenor
Used by arrangement with Polydor Inc.
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User Reviews

 
A prime example of the way highly styled entertainment should be…
1 September 2007 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

Schlesinger made a great action-suspense film and married it to the artistry of unique talents… Hoffman was, by then, a dynamic, young and incredibly versatile film actor with three Academy Award nominations already under his belt for "The Graduate," "Midnight Cowboy," and "Lenny."

But the key to "Marathon Man" was the chemistry between its stars… Perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching and most memorable scenes in the film comes when Hoffman is captured and tortured by Olivier who plays the role of a mean and vicious and sadistic Nazi war criminal, Christian Szell… Olivier's performance resulted in a 1976 Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor…

In 1945, Szell ran the experimental camp at Auschwitz where they called him the White Angel… He was a dentist and could provide escape for any Jew who was willing to pay the price… He started out with gold, naturally, but very quickly worked his way up to diamonds…

As Szell saw the end early, he sneaked his brother into America with the diamonds… And they were right here, in New York, in a safe deposit-box until Szell's brother got killed in a head-on collision with an oil truck…

Uniquely built, and with a marvelous, rugged face, Roy Scheider, well known for his strong performances in "The French Connection," "Klute," and "Jaws," came on board as Hoffman's mysterious businessman brother, getting the rare chance to play a character that's both hero and villain… Doc is a fascinating guy because he chooses to work out his problems in a much different way than Dustin's character does… He was very touched and very moved by his father's death, but he abandoned all his hopes for whatever he intended to do and he became a spy, a killer, a very jaded personality…

In doing something truly suspenseful, Schlesinger accomplished a film that's largely about fear and it's about pain and the infliction of pain because of fear… The thrilling sensation of great expectations came on the 47th Street in the diamond district in New York, where Schlesinger gets the best of it…


50 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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