- Szell (Laurence Olivier) to Babe (Dustin Hoffman)
"Is it safe?"
British director John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY), reteams with Dustin Hoffman for MARATHON MAN, a classic suspense thriller (based on the novel by William Goldman) rife with chase sequences, torture, and political intrigue. A landmark film that pushes the boundaries of audience squeamishness, MARATHON MAN features a powerful performance by Hoffman alongside equally stellar work by Sir Laurence Olivier and Roy Scheider. As a Columbia University graduate student, Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman), spends his spare time running in marathons. However, he winds up running for his life when he inadvertently becomes entangled in an espionage plot. Babe's brother Doc (Scheider) is an American secret agent whom is killed by fierce Nazi fugitive, Szell (Olivier), who believes he stole a cache of diamonds, and Babe himself is kidnapped by the murderer. Excruciating scenes of dental torture follow, as Babe repeatedly risks his life trying to escape his captors.
Based On A Novel |
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical release: October, 1976.
Being a method actor, Hoffman did not sleep the night before shooting the famous dental torture scene. When costar Olivier discovered this, he remarked: "Why don't you try acting, it's so much easier."
In MARATHON MAN, Laurence Olivier portrays a former Nazi based on Josef Menegele. Two years later, in Franklin J. Schaffner's THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL, he would go on to play famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, in pursuit of Menegele.