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Marathon Man (1976)

A thriller.

Starring:

Allen Joseph

Ben Dova

Dustin HoffmanDustin Hoffman

Fritz Weaver

Laurence OlivierLaurence Olivier

Marc Lawrence

Marthe Keller

Richard Bright

Roy Scheider

Tito Goya

William Devane

Directed by:

John Schlesinger

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 125 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

The Seventies were a boom time for Dustin Hoffman as he was one of the most reliable lead actors out there and proved his worth with classics like Marathon Man, The Graduate and All the President’s Men before he became the family-fodder shell of a man he is now.

Marathon Man is the story behind Babe (Hoffman) – a running obsessed college student whose life gets messy when he falls in love with the wrong woman (Keller) and witnesses the murder of his brother (Scheider). The confused young man soon gets mixed up in an international conspiracy, including rogue Secret Service dealings and an attempt by a geriatric Nazi-on-the-run (Olivier) to smuggle diamonds out of the US.

Marathon Man is an intelligent, well-paced thriller that gained its fame because of lots of twists, interesting characters and iconic scenes, one of which put a generation off going to the dentists. Dustin Hoffman puts in one of his finest performances as the unlikely hero Babe and sympathetically conveys the desperation of a man badly out of his depth. A special mention should also go out to a terrifying but also subtley vulnerable portrayal of The White Angel by Laurence Olivier.

The conspiracy part of the plot does get a little messy at times but it is still one of the best thrillers out there. Let’s face it, anything with a Nazi twist is always interesting.

It's Got: A classic performance from Dustin Hoffman, plenty of twists and turns, a dental check up that you will never forget

It Needs: A slightly less messy unravelling of the conspiracy

DVD Extras 21 minute long "The Making of Marathon Man" documentary from the time of filming, "Going the Distance: Remembering Marathon Man," brand-new documentary with interviews with cast and crew, trailers, twenty minutes of rehearsal footage but no Directors commentary - overall, pretty decent DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Taxi Driver, The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File

Summary

One of the best thrillers and finest Dustin Hoffman films out there. But… is it safe?

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