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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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from: his novel)
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3,813 ( 163)

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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:
... Babe
... Szell
... Doc
... Janeway
... Elsa
... Professor Biesenthal
... Karl
... Erhard
... Babe's Father
Tito Goya ... Melendez
Ben Dova ... Szell's Brother
Lou Gilbert ... Rosenbaum
... LeClerc
James Wing Woo ... Chen
Nicole Deslauriers ... Nicole
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Storyline

Tom Levy, who is nicknamed Babe by his older brother Henry Levy, an oil executive who in turn is nicknamed Doc by Tom, is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Columbia University. He is also training to run a marathon. Tom 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 solely for being a Jew. Tom's work doesn't sit well with Doc who wants Tom to move on with his life. While at Columbia, Tom meets and begins to date Elsa Opel, a foreign exchange student also in History. While out for a walk in Central Park late one day, Tom and Elsa are mugged, the unusual aspect of it being that their attackers were men in suits. Tom will learn that the mugging was not a random attack after someone close to Tom is found murdered, the deceased who was not who he purported to be. From here, Tom is thrown into an international plot concerning a WWII Nazi named Christian Szell in hiding, and a large cache... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Innocent Man. Hunted Man. Dangerous Man. Marathon Man. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

8 October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Marathon-Mann  »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Babe is running up the stairs outside on campus, he asks another student which room Professor Biesenthal's class is in. That student was played by John Heard (uncredited). See more »

Goofs

After Doc flees the Opera, when we him in the Grecian temple, dolly tracks are clearly visible on the floor. As the camera dollies in, we lose sight of them but Doc obviously high-steps over the tracks. See more »

Quotes

Janeway: [In the car with Babe] All right, things are starting to come together. Keep your head down before you get it blown off. Those two guys I just wasted work for a man named Christian Szell. Does that name mean anything to you?
Babe: No.
Janeway: He ran the experimental camp at Auchswitz, where they called him "The White Angel" - "The Weisse Engel" - because he has this incredible head of white hair. He's probably the wealthiest and most wanted Nazi left alive. And he's hiding out somewhere in Uruguay. In 1945, ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Dors, o cité oerverse
(1881)
(from 'Hérodiade')
Music by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Paul Milliet (uncredited) and Henry Grémont (uncredited)
Sung by Joseph Rouleau, with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra)
Conducted by John Matheson
Courtesy of London and Decca Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best thrillers ever made
30 August 2004 | by 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.


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