7.5/10
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177 user 86 critic

Marathon Man (1976)

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.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

William Goldman (screenplay), William Goldman (from: his novel)
Reviews
Popularity
4,214 ( 1,731)

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

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A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Babe
Laurence Olivier ... Szell
Roy Scheider ... Doc
William Devane ... Janeway
Marthe Keller ... Elsa
Fritz Weaver ... Professor Biesenthal
Richard Bright ... Karl
Marc Lawrence ... Erhard
Allen Joseph ... Babe's Father
Tito Goya Tito Goya ... Melendez
Ben Dova Ben Dova ... Szell's Brother
Lou Gilbert Lou Gilbert ... Rosenbaum
Jacques Marin ... LeClerc
James Wing Woo James Wing Woo ... Chen
Nicole Deslauriers Nicole Deslauriers ... Nicole
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thriller. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Spanish | Yiddish

Release Date:

8 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Marathon-Mann See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,709,020
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Spah (billed as Ben Dova), portraying Szell's brother, is the driver of the stalled car involved in the opening car-truck collision. Mr. Spah was a survivor of the Hindenburg disaster. See more »

Goofs

When the professor asks the students the question about the Tennyson quote, you can see Babe write the answer on his desk table. In the close-up, he is writing the answer on the back of his notebook. 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: [shouts] Erhardt!
[Erhardt steps into the dental room]
Christian Szell: He knew nothing. If he had known, he would have told. Get rid of him!
Janeway: I don't think you've heard the news.
[Szell steps into Janeway's office]
Christian Szell: What is that?
Janeway: You're leaving tomorrow on the 1:00 flight.
Christian Szell: You are a very confident young man.
Janeway: It's all a front. Just think of me as any other young executive on the come.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Predator (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Tram
Music by Charles Mougeot (as C. Mougeot)
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User Reviews

 
Schlock Flick Masquerading as a Prestige Picture
1 March 2008 | by rake-7See all my reviews

The high ratings for Marathon Man are no doubt focused on the substantial talent assembled to pull it off, and they succeed as long as one dispenses with every expectation of logic or common sense. Schlesinger builds substantial suspense, and there are plenty of satisfying scenes, but the plotting and story points are ridiculous beyond measure. This might not be a problem if it were any other type of picture, but the progressive unfolding of an initial puzzle to a somewhat sensible (or at least rational) set of revelations is one of the hallmarks of the government intelligence thriller. The story here, however, is so thin that virtually nothing happens for the entire first half of the picture, and the second half is really nothing more than one long chase sequence. The biggest problem is that the central objective of the action is precipitated by a murder that, if contemplated for more than about twenty seconds, reveals itself to make absolutely no sense whatsoever. And the illogical story points are not just structural. There are numerous details throughout that are obviously (and, to my mind, condescendingly) designed as mere conveniences for the the action, regardless of how inane or inexplicable they may be. The veneer of star power and sophisticated production values did not--for this viewer, at any rate--successfully obfuscate the movie's considerable flaws.


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