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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: April 30: Marathon Man


April 30: Marathon Man

"A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent."

The most famous scene in Marathon Man is when Babe (Dustin Hoffman) is being tortured by the evil Dr. Szell, a Nazi dentist known for abusing his patients. Szell drills holes into Babe's teeth, demanding to know the information he believes Babe is keeping from him. The entire sequence makes you tongue your teeth, cringing at the thought of it happening to you. It also gives you another reason to hate your dentist and curse him every time he asks if you've been flossing. Now the thing with Marathon Man is that it's a movie with many scenes like this strung together. Once the action gets going, each scene is more suspenseful, concluding with a terrific finish. The only thing is the plot line that weaves itself through all of these scenes is confusing, undeveloped, and very lacking in the explanation department. But each scene is filmed so well, you easily forgive its flaws. 

Fghk Yhoo- translation- "Oh my f**king God. This hurts. So much. Stop it. Now."

When a film's plot fails on its delivery and you're left with answers to questions that never should have been raised, you need a lot to save the film. With Marathon Man, the savior to it all is the cast. Led by a young and extremely talented Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider (Jaws), and the legendary Lawrence Olivier, you really can't go wrong. Hoffman, as Babe, is believable as the everyday kind of guy who finds himself wrapped up in a whole lot of "oh shit" moments. Through this, you relate and sympathize with him. Scheider plays Babe's secret-agent-spy-super-man brother, who channels his inner James Bond and does a damn good job with the little screen time he has. He really should have had more scenes. Lastly, Olivier, who needs no introduction, is absolutely terrifying as the Nazi Szell and is a far departure from his ordinary Shakespearean leading man roles. 

Using the hidden blade decades before Assassins Creed

I won't go into details about the plot, as it's really unnecessary to not only explain, but attempt to understand. All that is important is that you know who to root for and share in the suspense and terror that consumes his life. Overall, I would definitely recommend Marathon Man, even with it's faults. It has an incredible cast, a haunting score, and great directing. In it's own way, it can go down as a classic. It also gives you that excuse you've been looking for to avoid getting that cavity filled. 

The Good:
superb cast led by the always amazing Dustin Hoffman and Lawrence Olivier
The Bad:
getting that copper taste in your mouth as you watch a man have his teeth drilled into 
The Ugly:
realizing New York City will never be what it was like in the 70s again

Overall: 7.8/10


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