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RUNNING THROUGH 'MARATHON MAN' STARRING DUSTIN HOFFMAN

Dustin Hoffman & Marthe Keller in MARATHON MAN Year: 1976
The epitome of a Thriller, John Schlesinger's MARATHON MAN can be a letdown with the teaming of two legends — one very old, the other, at that time, part of a fairly new crop of intense method actors. And we'll get the "Why don't you try acting" elephant out of the room — which was Olivier's famous quip to Hoffman as he needed to run a block before getting into character...

Then again, Dustin is the title character, and not just standing around reciting Shakespeare — spending most of the picture completely winded/exhausted from either jogging around New York's Central Park or being chased throughout the last half when this Thriller turns into a straight-out Action flick: Which isn't the best part of MARATHON MAN as Roy Scheider plays Dustin's older brother "Babe" in the most suspenseful scenes: as some kind of secret agent, he's eventually connected with his passive New York collegiate sibling after being introduced in Paris, France, where director Schlesinger (reunited with MIDNIGHT COWBOY star Hoffman) evokes a fair amount of nail-biting Hitchcockesque tension (as well as a strangler-behind-windy-drapes death scene taken from GODFATHER 2) as things either explode or seem just about to...

Laurence Olivier arrives in MARATHON MAN Rating: ***1/2
The best moment has a shrewd Schieder calling out his brother's far-too-perfect and convenient German girlfriend Marthe Keller at a fancy New York restaurant, which seems part of another espionage story that's just getting started...

So when the film suddenly shifts into that hectic, Noir-inspired city-after-hours foot-chase involving the iconic, literally torturous sequence as Olivier — a former Nazi concentration camp dentist — pulls Hoffman's teeth for information along the way, it's simply winding-down to a somewhat generic face-off/conclusion. In a nutshell, MARATHON MAN is more of a prolonged quick sprint... that should leave you equally exercised. 
Next Years' SHORT EYES youngsters Tito Goya and Church Ortiz in Marathon Man
Dustin Hoffman studies up in MARATHON MAN
Dustin Hoffman studies up in MARATHON MAN
Laurence Olivier arrives in America for the Nazi antagonist role in Marathon Man
Henchman Mark Lawrence, scene-stealer Roy Scheider and Laurence Olivier in MARATHON MAN
Awesome closeup of an exploding doll in MARATHON MAN
Cover of the Videodisc cover of MARATHON MAN
Olivier's henchman played by Richard Bright and Marc Lawrence
Roy Scheider in the Paris, France sequences of MARATHON MAN
A Thriller is the simple and fitting tagline for MARATHON MAN
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