Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Marathon Man (1976)
"Is it safe?... Is it safe?" - Szell
"Tennyson! Alfred, Lord Tennyson. My God, but you can't compete on a doctoral level and not know "Locksley Hall" and "Locksley Hall 60 Years Later"! I hope you all flunk. Dismissed." - Professor
"I know exactly how Doc made his living, and the closest he ever came to the oil business was when he filled up at the friendly neighborhood gas station." - Janeway
Heard about this flick for a long time, but never knew what it was about or if it was even any good or not. I like how there's a lot of mystery surrounding what its about. The poster just says, "A Thriller." That's awesome. And after watching it, I can tell you that it is awesome, it has a pretty stellar cast, a really fucked up villain, and deserves to be seen by a larger audience. Roy Scheider, Dustin Hoffman, the guy with the teeth from KNOTS LANDING, and Laurence Olivier in MARATHON MAN!!!!
So here we have a convoluted little story until about halfway through when we figure out what's going on. When the story begins, a German guy is locking something up in a safe deposit box. Another guy, a very angry Jewish guy is road raging through the lower east side in Manhattan. The first guy pulls out in front of the second guy and the second guy ends up riding the other guy's ass all the way into a gas truck which explodes killing them both. The first guy had a key to that very important safe deposit box and it burned up. Our protagonist is "Babe" and he is a runner and is trying to get his phd in history. His father was in the same field, but apparently committed suicide during the McCarthy era for something he did wrong. Babe maintains his father's innocence.
"Doc" is Babe's older brother. At first he is in some European country and is repeatedly almost killed. When he gets word about the one German dying, he heads back to the US and meets up with Babe. Babe has met and stalked and scored with this supposedly "Swiss" exchange student. They meet up for dinner, and Doc accuses the chick of being a gold digger even though he expects she may have been sent by this other dude to spy on Doc's brother. So Doc pretends (even to his brother) that he is a bigtime oil executive, when he's really a spy type dude. He's after this man Szell who is the brother of the first German dude. Szell has been in exile in South America somewhere hiding because he was a famous Nazi dentist/ torturer. He stole millions worth of gold and diamonds from Jews during WWII and hid them with his brother in America. Doc is pretty sure he'll come looking for his treasure since his brother croaked.
Doc was right and he goes to meet up with Szell. Whatever organizations they work for, there seems to be some sort of "code". Doc mentions that Szell has broken the code by involving family. Szell suprises Doc by knifing him in the belly with this cool "hand knife" thing. Doc makes it all the way back to Babe's apartment and then dies. Babe can't understand what's happening, but he's visited by Doc's partner Janeway after being interrogated by the cops. Janeway asks Babe what Doc told him, and Babe keeps telling him that Doc didn't tell him anything. So later Babe takes a bath and is abducted from his apartment by two goons. He wakes tied to a chair with Szell in front of him repeatedly asking him, "Is it safe?" Babe doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about, he didn't even know his brother was an agent until like an hour ago. He's tortured and then thrown in a room. Janeway busts in and shoots the two goons and rescues Babe. He fills in Babe with about as much info as I've given you and then the two goons show up again proving that Janeway is a goddamned traitor. Then they torture Babe some more.
Babe escapes and runs like hell barefoot through god knows where nyc. He's freaking out and tired and can't get anyone to help him. He calls the thug dudes that make fun of him everyday and tell them to break into his apartment and keep anything they want except to bring him some clothes. They do it, and good thing because the goons are there and would've killed Babe. So he meet up with his chick who definitely was in league with Szell. Szell is having a very hard time selling his diamonds because he gets spotted and identified twice within five minutes by two Holocaust survivors. Szell kills one of them and gets away. Babe's babe takes him to a remote house and is setting him up, but Babe knows and then Janeway shows up, kills the goons and says he'll let Babe kills Szell if he can keep the diamonds. Babe says ok, but Janeway kills his chick, so then Babe kills Janeway and goes after Szell. He finds him too. If you wanna find out what happens tho, you'll have to check this one out for yourself. Like I said, pretty rad story, well written, well acted. Check it out.