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
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 »
In the diamond shop, the Auschwitz victim that Szell eventually slashes had his Auschwitz tattoo on the outside of his wrist. Auschwitz tattoos for Jewish inmates were generally on the forearm. See more »
[Szell begins to torture Babe by using a dental probe and a mouth mirror to check for cavities]
[the probe hits a cavity]
I know. I should think it would. You should take better care of your teeth. You have a...
[hits the cavity again]
quite a cavity here. Is it safe?
Look, I told you I can't...
[Szell stabs the probe into the nerve; screaming in pain]
AAH-HA! AAH! Aah!
[...] See more »
The ending credits scroll with Babe's jogging route as a backdrop. See more »
Quite apart from the infamous torture scene, which I found extremely difficult to watch without howling in horror (actually that's a lie, I DID howl) this film is FULL of nervous tension that occasionally boils over - the way it's been done is masterful. The bouncing-ball scene in the darkened building should be utterly prosaic, but it really isn't - the way it's choreographed and shot brings such an air of menace and trepidation you'll be biting your nails off. There's much of a similar vein in 'Marathon Man', and although the storyline is sometimes almost buried through the relentless suffocating tension, it's extremely watchable (with a cushion to hide behind at certain points) and one of the greatest non-Hitchcock thrillers I've ever seen. Don't hesitate!
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