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Marathon Man

Marathon Man on DVD

Definitely Not Safe…

From the pen of William Goldman comes this tale of an innocent man thrown into a life threatening situation.

Dustin Hoffman is Babe Levy, a graduate student who aspires to marathon running. One day, out of the apparent blue he finds himself swept up in international intrigue involving Nazis and diamonds.

It happens thanks to his brother (RoyScheider), a government operative who meets his death at the hands of elderly Nazi war criminal Christian Szell (marvelously played by Laurence Olivier).Szell, hated and hunted since WWII, has come to New York City City to find a cache of diamonds, and there ain’t nothing going to stand in is way.

Hoffman, in whose apartment his brother died after a long and painful final trek there, is dragged off and tortured for information he doesn’t have, then supposedly rescued and released – but things aren’t always what they appear to be in “Marathon Man.”

It all culminates in a wonderful confrontation between Hoffman and Olivier, but we certainly aren’t going to spoil it for you by blabbing the ending here - or even that much of the leadup to the ending.

Director JohnSchlessinger has done a marvelous job of crafting this thriller, which hearkens in some ways back to such Hitchcock epics as “North by Northwest.” Goldman’s screenplay, based on his novel, is chilling, and the performances are uniformly outstanding. Particular mention should be made of William Devane and Marthe Keller – and of course Dustin Hoffman.

You’ve probably heard of the dentist scene and we won’t get into it here except to say that it’s definitely very freaky and we’re glad we didn’t have dental appointments after we watched this.

There are great scenes in NYC as holocaust survivors recognize Czell and start going after him, as well as some good chases.

The DVD is in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, with Dolby Digital 5.1 (and restored mono) audio. Picture and sound quality are very good, and they’ve done a nice job of remixing the sound to take advantages of the surround channels.

Extras include the original “making of” featurette, interviews with the cast and crew, footage of rehearsals for shooting, and the trailer.

Marathon Man, from Paramount Home Video
125 min, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1 and “restored” mono
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, Marthe Keller, William Devane
Produced by Robert Evans and Sidney Beckerman
Written by William Goldman, Directed by John Schlessinger.


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Updated May 13, 2006