Thomas "Babe" Levy, whose brother Henry James "Doc" Levy is an oil business executive, is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Columbia University. He is also training as a marathon runner. Babe is paying homage to his deceased father, H.B. Levy, in pursuing the same studies as him, his father who committed suicide while being under investigation in the Communist witch hunts. Babe's work does not sit well with Doc who wants Babe to move on with his life. While at Columbia, Babe meets and begins to date Elsa Opel, a foreign exchange student also in History. While out for a walk in Central Park late one night, Babe and Elsa are mugged, the unusual aspect of it being that their attackers were men in suits. Babe will learn that the mugging was not a random attack after someone close to Babe is found murdered, the deceased who was not who he purported to be. From here, Babe is thrown into an international conspiracy concerning Nazi war criminal Christian Szell in hiding, and a large cache of ...Written by
Roy Scheider received the book while filming Jaws (1975). He finished the book in one night. The next day, he told the man who had given him the book that it was a great book, and would make a great movie, though he was disappointed that the character he found most interesting, Henry Levy, died halfway through the book. Only a year later, he was playing the role. See more »
During the film, reference is made to Uruguay, Szell's post war refuge country. But at the end of the film, at Szell's brother's house, when Babe realises that Elsa is also employed by Szell, Babe asks her what she does for Szell. She answers that she smuggles diamonds from Paris to Paraguay. (instead of Uruguay) See more »
[addressing his class]
Well, you four have the dubious honor of having been picked from over two hundred applicants for this seminar. Well, let me just say this. There's a shortage of natural resources. There's a shortage of breathable air, there's even a shortage of adequate claret. But there is no shortage of historians. We grind you out like link sausages. That's called progress. Manufacturing doctorates is called progress. Well, I say, "Let us hush this cry of progress until ten thousand ...
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The ending credits scroll with Babe's jogging route as a backdrop. See more »
I have always found this to be a very entertaining, involving, taut suspense movie with some very dramatic scenes. I've seen in three times and liked it better each time, particularly since it's been available on DVD which enhanced the sound from mono to stereo, and the 1.85:1 widescreen enhancing the cinematography.
I didn't find the infamous (this was quite a buzz when the film came out) dentist scene to be as terrifying as it was made up to be and the references to the McCarthy hearings are a bit annoying and typical of Hollywood director John Scheslinger. It's also a typical modern-day film in which the U.S government's police agencies are corrupt (oh, puhleeze, filmmakers - think of something new).
However, despite those negatives, the film is fascinating with no dry spots despite its two-hour length. There is a nice variety of action scenes and very interesting characters. Marthe Keller never looked better. Too bad she didn't make more movies in the U.S. Dustin Hoffman, as he did so well in the '70s, keeps your attention and Laurence Olivier is absolutely riveting. This is a terrific thriller, start to finish.
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