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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The terror among us!
What an incredible film!
This starts off as a slow simple everyday scene in New York which after a chain of events builds into a plot involving ex-Nazi war criminals, diamond-smuggling, anti-Semitic feeling, and a fast-paced chase leading to its inevitable bloody climax!
The gripping storyline had me hooked from the outset.
Ex-Nazi Szell, played by Olivier,...
Published on 4 Mar 2004 by Mr. L. D. Glynn

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most Disappointing Version
We all know how good this movie is! It's one of the best movies of the seventies! But what is the story with the new Blu-ray release? Not one of the excellent extras that can be found on the standard DVD are present here. It is just the bare bones - not even a trailer. Shame on who ever put it out! So if you want the extras you'll have to hang on to your standard DVD...
Published 11 months ago by Old Buff Joe


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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The terror among us!, 4 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
What an incredible film!
This starts off as a slow simple everyday scene in New York which after a chain of events builds into a plot involving ex-Nazi war criminals, diamond-smuggling, anti-Semitic feeling, and a fast-paced chase leading to its inevitable bloody climax!
The gripping storyline had me hooked from the outset.
Ex-Nazi Szell, played by Olivier, has come out of hiding in Brazil to retrieve his diamonds. Hoffman's brother, played by Roy Scheider (fresh from "Jaws" fame), works for the Secret Service tracking Szell who is believed to have stolen the diamonds. After a double-cross which he witnesses (don't want to give too much away here!) Hoffman's life is in danger and he desperately tries to avoid Szell and his henchmen's clutches...
The entire cast are on top form.
Dustin Hoffman plays a convincing student and went for days without sleep to prepare himself for certain scenes like the dental torture scene (hence the immortal line from Olivier "why don't you try acting, dear?" when Hoffman asked him for advice).
And although Olivier was battling with gout and cancer during the entire shoot, he comes up with one of the performances of his career, horribly convincing as the sadistic Nazi Szell.
Marthe Keller, the Swiss model whose film debut was in Marathon Man, also impressed, especially as she spoke virtually no English as filming began!
The pace of the film also puts you on the edge of your seat (you're never sure who to trust), and although things start off calmly, it builds and builds into a brutal film, with a handful of shockingly violent and unexpected scenes. The most famous dental torture scene has been described in detail, which really is squirm-inducing, certainly one of the most terrifying scenes in cinema history. It's more the allusion to violence rather than seeing everything in graphic detail that makes it so effective. You may not want to go to the dentist ever again...
Schlesinger plays out the scenes of Olivier's Szell at large on the New York City streets wonderfully well (the Big Apple never looked so threatening!), the bustle of the city almost concealing the horror of a war criminal at large.
This is still valid today, what with the constant fear of terrorists living in our midst.
The DVD transfer has only improved the film - colour, sound and picture quality are fantastic and have been digitally restored. Equally impressive are the special features on this DVD edition, with excellent commentary and an interesting documentary ""Going The Distance: Remembering Marathon Man" with interviews from most of the cast & crew (Marthe Keller looks even more attractive over 25 years later!)
To sum up this has to rank as one of the best, most powerful, dark and disturbing thrillers I've ever seen. Although it does look a little dated now, this DVD should definitely have a place in your collection. Highly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marathon Man Blu-Ray, 4 Jun 2013
By 
M. Stewart "kimble" (scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Let's review the blu-ray 1st off their are no special features on the disc which 1 reviewer mentioned.

Sound quality is 5.1 dts hd master audio the film is presented in 1.78;1 aspect ratio according to imdb the movies original aspect ratio is 1.85:1 so i don't know why that wasn't used for the blu-ray release.

Pq is a mixed bag as it is clearer than the dvd but has heavy grain and a soft picture so not a stunning hd picture but i think that is just the way marathon man was shot although i think the film deserves a 4k remaster.

The release deserved better overall if you are a fan of the movie i would reccomend the disc.

Also take note Warner Bros in the USA are releasing this film on blu ray in september so you might want to hold back and see if that release is any better to my knowledge warner bros titles are always region free.

Update i can confirm that the US region free warner disc uses the same master as this disc.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marathon man, 22 Mar 2006
By 
Philip Clark - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marathon Man [DVD] (DVD)
This is the same DVD as the 2002 release but with a card outer slip case and a six page booklet. Great movie but I'm not sure it's worth the extra money for two bits of card.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stuff. Hoffman at his best, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
I really winced when the evil Sir Olivier was doing dentistry on Hoffman, trying to glean information from him. Had you on the edge of your seat when following the double crossing plots going on. The additional interviews which come with this movie are good too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dustin at his best, 13 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
Great move to watch, its a classic ( is it safe) Laurence Olivier is excellent also keeps you at the edge of your seat.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OLIVIER EVIL INCARNATE., 1 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
An excellent thriller with Laurence Olivier on top form, Dustin Hoffman plays second fiddle but gives a solid performance. The supporting cast give a good account of themselves and with good production values this is a must see.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd, mysterious cartoony Nazi conspiracy thriller, 4 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
Marathon Man (1976) is an odd, adapted conspiracy thriller in which "the Division" (a US government intelligence agency) is engaged in a plot by a Nazi war criminal (Szell) played by Laurence Olivier to reclaim his precious diamonds in a secret briefcase which can only be opened by a special key.

You need to pay attention to the first 3 minutes of the film because if you miss it then you will miss the briefcase which is the subject of the film's fuss. The plot is fairly complex. The role that a marathon-loving graduate finds himself in (played by Dustin Hoffman) is an odd one but one brought about by a cartoony desire to get to the truth and familial circumstances (his brother played by Roy Schneider is involved in the plot).

Much can't be given away without spoiling the plot. This is a cleverly thought-out conspiracy and we learn the value of physical strength in torture, pain of history, and there is a spiel on whether "it is safe" - the "it" may refer to the diamonds or some other more substantial Nazi secret. Double-crossing is rife in the film. Of course, there are some great actors in this film (Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Schneider, William Devane). The issues for me were that, for all it's cleverness, the way this graduate gets involved is very cartoony, the ending is Olivier-iconic but a bit too cartoony (as is Szell), the scoring is a little perplexing and therefore there isn't any suspense in the film but more mystery and torture-porn.

Special features include a making of documentary. There is only one disc in this DVD.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most Disappointing Version, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Marathon Man (Region B) (Blu-ray)
We all know how good this movie is! It's one of the best movies of the seventies! But what is the story with the new Blu-ray release? Not one of the excellent extras that can be found on the standard DVD are present here. It is just the bare bones - not even a trailer. Shame on who ever put it out! So if you want the extras you'll have to hang on to your standard DVD. This is happening quite often now with Blu-Ray discs. Reissues of older movies on Blu ray are without the extras. So I am slowly going off Blu-Ray for this very reason.You have been warned.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping, marathon tale, 15 Nov 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] (DVD)
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

This is an excellent film which begins in a tranquil and unthreatening university library as the apparently naive, youthful, unsophisticated and enthusiastic Hoffman (a role he has played well since the graduate) is distracted by and attracted to a fellow student, played by Marthe Keller. From there, the plot thickens quickly into the secret service, ex-Nazi war criminals, diamond-smuggling, anti-Semitic feeling ... I am not giving any more away!

The stellar cast all play their various parts to perfection and "their various parts" involve a great many surprising characters. At times, it is difficult to know who to trust as Schlesinger, a master of the camera and cinematography twists the tale in this beautifully filmed thriller and, although there is some strong violence, much of it is impled rather than depicted, making it even more threatening. Laurence Olivier, who was unwell during the shoot, plays Szell to perfection - evil, brutal, amoral, vicious and devious. Hoffman's character responds throughout the film to severe and very surprising changes in his life ... Why waste time reading a review when you could be watching the film instead?

Recommended - just buy it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting makes the difference, 28 Jun 2001
By 
This review is from: Marathon Man [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Hoffman, Olivier and Scheider all give excellent performances in this fast action movie written for people with brains still employed. Proof that you can have a good narrative; cultural references (McCarthyism,Nazis in hiding)and drama without descending to the banal. Olivier goes slightly over the top as the Mengele character (the scene where his Nazi dentist tortures the young Jewish Hoffman with his drill will put you off dentistry for life). Hoffman is at his best reprising his "Graduate" character - the young Jewish New Yorker with angst. Excellent support from Scheider as his shady older brother.
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Marathon Man [1976] [DVD]
Marathon Man [1976] [DVD] by John Schlesinger (DVD - 2002)
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