Marathon Man (1976) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
Scoopy's comments in white
I have mixed feelings about this international thriller classic which I never saw before today. On the one hand, it has some tremendous positives:
1. Dustin Hoffman and Lord Larry Olivier? It doesn't get much better than that, and both were cast ideally.
2. Marthe Keller with her clothes off.
3. Some of the best individual scenes I've ever seen. The famous dental torture scene, the scene where Hoffman throws the diamonds into the waterworks (very reminiscent of the sewer scenes in The Third Man), the shot of Olivier's face shot from below - up through the diamonds, the scene with Hoffman in bed with a flashlight, the scene with Hoffman in the tub, some of the scenes with Roy Scheider in Paris, Devane's fake rescue. There is brilliant camera positioning, tension, spectacle, good performances, things that aren't what they appear to be, everything you'd want in an Cold War Thriller.
|4. I very
much liked the way they built up the mystery with Scheider's
character. For the longest time, you think he's probably evil, but you
don't know what the hell he's doing. Then you think he's OK. Then you
don't know, even at the end, if he was just a simple thief all along.
5. When the film is over, you get the feeling that you've watched something substantial because the film manipulates your emotions in the ways it intends to, and seems significant, perhaps more significant than it really is.
the other hand, thrillers are supposed to be plot-driven and I have to
tell you, this made no sense at all in some scenes. It throws a double
whammy at you - you can't figure out some scenes when they happen,
then they still don't make any sense when you have all the
Perhaps the novel explains all these things in depth, but the movie is confusing, and sometimes just plain wrong, as in the last item with Devane giving Hoffman the correct address. I would have cut a lot of scenes out of this film to make it more comprehensible and tighter.
Good performers, some great scenes, in search of better continuity and logic.
Tuna's comments in yellow:
Marathon Man (1976) is a slick thriller adapted for the screen by William Goldman from his novel of the same name, and directed by John Schlesinger. The film stars Dustin Hoffman as a graduate student whose brother gets him involved with international intrigue concerning a Nazi war criminal. The criminal is played to perfection by Sir Laurence Olivier, who was in very poor health, and hadn't been working. As a matter of fact, they had a great deal of trouble getting him insured. He, of course, fooled everyone and lived several more years.
|Marthe Keller plays
Hoffman's love interest. Hoffman comments in a new retrospective made
for the DVD that the two of them really got along well, and that if he
hadn't been married at the time, they would have become a lot closer.
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