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Marathon Man (1976)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 38,232 users  
Reviews: 152 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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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

There are two photos of long-distance runner legends in Babe's room: one is of Abebe Bikila, who is also seen running in the beginning of the film. The other is of Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist. See more »

Goofs

As Roy Scheider approaches Leclerc's shop, he passes a girl in a green sweater. When he leaves the shop a few minutes later, the same girl passes him, still going in the same direction. See more »

Quotes

[after Szell tortures Babe by drilling into a healthy tooth, he still gets no information about Babe's brother, frustrating Szell]
Christian Szell: [yells] Erhardt!
[Erhardt steps into the "dental" room]
Christian Szell: He knew nothing. If he'd known, he would've told. Get rid of him!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) 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

 
One of the best thrillers ever made
30 August 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Marathon Man starts off rather slowly, and for the first hour at least, it feels as if you're watching a human drama rather than a thriller. However, unlike a lot of thrillers; Marathon Man uses this time to create characters and establish the situation, which ultimately pays off later on in the film when the movie really gets going. When the film does step on the gas, it is as thrilling as any thriller you will ever see; Dustin Hoffman is subjected to all sorts of things, most notably an excruciating torture sequence. This scene is powerful and painful on it's own, but it is made more so by the fact that we have already gotten to know the character and therefore we feel sympathy for him, as well as cringing at the images we see on screen. That scene alone is enough to propel the movie in the realms of greatness, as it is simply one of the most powerful that cinema has ever given us; but this movie is a hell of a lot more than just a torture sequence.

The plot revolves around a car crash that takes place in downtown New York. One of the men in this crash is the brother of the infamous Nazi war criminal, Szell, who has some diamonds hidden in a safety deposit box. From then on, many members of a US defence organisation, known as "The Division", begin turning up dead and soon after, Thomas Levy, a college student, obsessive runner and the brother of one of The Division's members, becomes embroiled in the plot. It is easy to see the parallels between the plot movie and World War 2, from the withered ex-Nazi (indicative of the state of the actual regime), to his enemies being American; the movie has world war 2 written all over it. The film is excellently directed throughout by John Schlesinger. Schlesinger, probably best known for "Midnight Cowboy" does a fantastic job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seat for the duration of the movie. A constant foreboding feel is created, and you're never truly sure of what will happen. This is exactly what you want in a thriller, as nobody likes it when they can predict what will happen next.

Dustin Hoffman takes the lead role of Thomas Levy. Dustin Hoffman is a fantastic actor, and he certainly gets to flex his acting muscles here, in a film which sees him go through all manner of unpleasant scenes and also hold up lots of relationships with various characters, as well as drawing sympathy from the audience to accent his situation. Roy Scheider (of Jaws fame) stars opposite Dustin Hoffman in the movie. Scheider doesn't get a great deal of screentime in the film, but he still manages to do good things with the time he does have. The third lead role, that of the Nazi war criminal, is taken by Lawrence Olivier, who is also a fantastic actor and gives a great performance in this film. He gives his character just the right atmosphere, and we can tell just by looking at the man that he is cold and uncaring, and also past it; which is the crux of his character.

The film ends with a spectacular sequence, which sees the movie and the two centrals characters come to a satisfying conclusion. The characters are the central theme in this movie, and had the movie have ended differently it could have unravelled everything that it had created, but the movie's end is absolutely perfect and does the entire movie justice. A brilliant piece of cinema.


72 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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