Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 4 March 2004
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.
11 comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 June 2013
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.
33 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 November 2011

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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 October 2014
Not bad at all! Really gets You to squirm when the drilling begins! You have to admit it,You do not get many films like this today!
Hoffman is an excellent actor in this film,and he is one guy that that idiotic Nazi should never have crossed!
If You want something different,get this film-just hope Your dentist is not the same as the gut in the film!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 March 2006
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.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 June 2012
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.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 May 2016
Features two brothers who are double crossed by people they think they know. Toss in a Nazi, diamonds, gunplay, and bare skin and this is the movie you have. Vivid visuals aspire to steer the viewer away from the ... lumbering plot.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 June 2015
Dustin Hoffman reunites with John Schlesinger in tight paced thriller about a runner who gets caught in an affair with former Nazis. The acting is brilliant Dustin Hoffman is likable Laurence Olivier is creepy and Roy Scheider only has a small role but still works. A classic film.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 May 2015
Quite dated now. But still very exciting.
Laurence Olivier plays a very nasty character and is very believable.
Roy Scheider is also good as Hoffmans older brother.
It does jump about a bit early on. But I did not think this detracted too much too the film.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 May 2013
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.
55 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse