#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – In New York, the brother of an infamous Nazi war criminal in hiding is killed in a head-on collision with an oil truck. Shortly thereafter, members of a covert U.S. government group called the Division begin being murdered one by one. Meanwhile, graduate student and marathon runner Thomas “Babe” Levy researches history as his father, who committed suicide after the Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era ruined his reputation. When he sees his brother, one Division member, stabbed to death, it is revealed that Christian Szell, the White Angel of Auschwitz, is wrapping up loose ends to smuggle priceless diamonds from the United States.
Plot: A graduate student and obsessive runner in New York is drawn into a mysterious plot involving his brother, a member of the secretive Division.
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Quite apart from the infamous torture scene, which I found extremely difficult to watch without howling in horror (actually that’s a lie, I DID howl) this film is FULL of nervous tension that occasionally boils over – the way it’s been done is masterful. The bouncing-ball scene in the darkened building should be utterly prosaic, but it really isn’t – the way it’s choreographed and shot brings such an air of menace and trepidation you’ll be biting your nails off. There’s much of a similar vein in ‘Marathon Man’, and although the storyline is sometimes almost buried through the relentless suffocating tension, it’s extremely watchable (with a cushion to hide behind at certain points) and one of the greatest non-Hitchcock thrillers I’ve ever seen. Don’t hesitate!
More than a thriller, a nightmarish existential masterpiece …
In a nutshell, John Schlesinger’s “Marathon Man” is one of the greatest thrillers of the 70’s, an intricate and paranoid masterpiece, served by an impeccable casting: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, Marthe Keller and Richard Bright.
Thomas Babbington Levy aka ‘Babe’ studies history in Columbia University and prepares a thesis on Tyranny in America. He’s also a marathon runner, training every day in Central Park, trying to emulate his idol, the Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila. A sepia footage of Bikila’s victory in Tokyo Olympic Games punctuates the opening credits sequence; although the athlete is more notorious for having won the previous marathon in Rome barefoot. Bikila explained; “I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism”
These two words hit a sensitive chord in Babe. His father killed himself during the McCarthyism, leaving unanswered the question of his innocence. Babe’s thesis can’t avoid this dark parenthesis as reminds his teacher (who admired his father) and Babe acknowledges that. The wound is even harder to conceal because he’s torn between his filial love and his personal admiration of virtues like bravery. His father could have faced the hearings and be a model if not a hero, he chose to be a victim, not even a martyr since he inflicted his own punishment by pulling the trigger. Babe keeps the gun in a drawer like the infamous weight of guilt in his heart, the detestable idea of having either a traitor or a weak man as a father.
Why are you keeping the gun? Asks his brother ‘Doc’ (Roy Scheider), Babe doesn’t know or maybe he does and keeps it as a warning, he might end like his father, with whom he’s got a lot in common, while Doc, more of a respectable businessman type would have been disowned. In a way, Babe lives his life like a marathon; it’s a matter of determination, as said Bikila: being the fastest on the long run. The secret is endurance and the capability of canalizing the pain and keeping on running. He carries the infamy of his father’s lack of ‘heroism’ and punishes himself as to exorcise his inner demons. And the secret is to find balance by sticking to the weight of past through his history studies and escaping from it through running.
The character study is almost imperceptible behind the Hitchcockian and sometimes James Bond-like feeling of some scenes, but there’s no doubt that Babe as a tormented man, haunted by his past, is the center of the psychological drama. And as counterpart, the film provides an unforgettable villain through Dr. Christian Szell, a Nazi-dentist played by Laurence Olivier in a virtuoso performance. Olivier is not only scary as the White Angel, but like many iconic villains, he’s not genuinely frightening but keeps a gentlemanly attitude that makes him even scarier. The softness and even carefulness he displays when checking Babe’s teeth is more horror-inducing than the piercing scream when he probes a cavity. I’m referring of course to one of the scariest scenes of cinema’s history.
“Is it safe?’ repeatedly asks Dr. Szell to an exhausted Babe, he has just been kidnapped, saw his brother dying in his arms, and has been near-drowned in his bathtub: Babe is naturally baffled by the question. The efficiency of the scene is conveyed by our total empathy toward Babe because we know he doesn’t know. What safe? What the “it” refers to? I’ve seen this scene enough to remember the extraordinary close-up right after Babe replies sarcastically, Olivier is so scary that we immediately figure Babe’s next reaction, “no, it’s not safe, it’s dangerous, be careful”. The directing and the focus on Olivier put us on the same emotional wavelength than Babe and we endure the scene just as if we were in his place. If only because going to the dentist is a painful experience, but relatively banal so anyone can relate to it.
Yet again, there’s more than a simple scene terrorizing viewers for the sake of it. Szell immediately applies some oil of cloves and the pain disappears. He gives Babe a cruel choice between telling what he knows and being relieved from the pain, or keeping silent and suffering, and when you know nothing, when truth is as painful as silence, you’re stuck in an existential nightmare. To a certain degree, Babe is pushed to the same dead-end as his father during the hearings. Except that he manages to escape from the bad guys and inevitably runs for his life. The chase sequence is another brilliant piece of filmmaking. Babe is out of breath because he’s a distance runner, not a sprinter but he runs for his survival, he decides to live, he embodies the same determination than his idol Bikila, fittingly running barefoot during the whole chase.
But if he’s clearly determined, he’s not heroic yet. As Szell said, he belongs to the past, while Babe studies the past. In a way, Szell is the one that confronts Babe to his inner demons, and it’s only when Babe gets back to Szell and risks his life to avenge the death of his brother, to make Szell swallow the same diamonds that were bought with the blood of Jewish people in Concentration Camp. It’s only when he finally confronts his own bravery and caused Szell to impale himself with the same retractable blade that killed his brother, killing him without pulling the trigger, that Babe finally cleared his conscience, and it’s not surprising that the last thing he does is throwing his father’s gun in the water.
I know I could have explored other themes, other performances, but I just feel that, like a good wine, the film gets better after more viewings revealing more hidden gems beneath the thriller surface, like the fact that it’s a fascinating character study and one of Dustin Hoffman’s greatest roles.
Original Language en
Runtime 2 hr 5 min (125 min)
Genre Crime, Thriller
Director John Schlesinger
Writer William Goldman (screenplay), William Goldman (from: his novel)
Actors Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane
Awards Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations.
Production Company Paramount Pictures
Sound Mix Mono, Stereo
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Camera Panavision Panaflex
Laboratory Metrocolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (color)
Film Length 3,415 m (Sweden, cut version), 3,435 m (Sweden, uncut version), 3,450 m
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm