Marathon Man [1976]

John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) directed this gripping, entertaining 1977 thriller that centers on graduate student Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Tootsie). Hoffman plays a sullen and cowardly loner haunted by the suicide of his father, a suspected communist. He is drawn into a murky web of international intrigue when his brother, CIA agent Doc Levy, played by Roy Scheider (Jaws, The French Connection), is murdered by a former Nazi (Laurence Olivier) who has come to the United States to reclaim a valuable stash of diamonds. Babe (Hoffman) must confront his fears of the past as he runs for his life and tries to avenge his brother's death at the same time. Featuring a classic torture sequence and a terrific cast that includes William Devane and Marthe Keller, this film written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men) stands as a great entertainment and as one of the seminal films of the 1970s. --Robert Lane

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