21 May 2024
Marathon Man (1976)
125 min.
Directed by John Schlesinger.
With Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane, Marthe Keller, Fritz Weaver.
A nail-biting masterpiece of suspense from director John Schlesinger (The Day of the Locust).

New York City graduate student Babe Levy (Hoffman) is a Ph.D candidate and regular marathon runner. He loves his brother "Doc" (Scheider), but honestly has no idea what he does for a living.

So Babe is shocked when his brother appears out of the blue and begins to draw him into a complex web of intrigue and espionage. He's even more shocked when his brother shows up dead, the victim of a savage knifing.

Turns out Doc was an undercover government agent involved in a dangerous cat and mouse game with an infamous - and very evil - Nazi war criminal Christian Szell (Olivier).

Whether he wants the job or not, with his brother dead, it seems Babe is now the prime player in the power struggle between U.S. government officials and the sinister Szell.

But does Babe have any of his brother's mettle for such trying ordeals? Will he make it out of this with his life intact?

Based on the novel by William Goldman, Marathon Man features superb plotting, intense suspense and excellent performances by all.

Olivier is beyond frightening as Szell, delivering an ultra chilling portrayal that makes this one of the classic '70s thrillers.

Is this a horror film? That would be like asking "Is it safe?" Just nod. And say yes.

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