The 70’s – #20 Marathon Man

25 Oct

I love lists! And I loved the 70’s. Those were the years that I became enthralled with movies. Thanks to my mother and the purchase of our first Videocassette Player, I was given the opportunity to not only see the current movies but movies of her era. I first saw the movie Giant and Rebel Without a Cause in the 70’s, as well as other great classics such as All About Eve and Gone With the Wind.

The 1970’s, as I look back on the movies that were released and the performances that were given seems to have been the decade of the MAN. There were a lot of “man” movies with some great performances from the male actors. Over the next few days (or weeks/months) I am going to list my favorites of the 70’s

I am going to list my favorite top 20 Movies, Actors and Actresses of the decade that I became a teenager. I will begin with the movies, starting with…

#20) Marathon Man-1976
Marathon Man is one of the scariest nightmare thrillers ever to have hit the screen, best known for the pursuit scenes and a truly horrific scene of torture.

Doc Levy (Roy Scheider), is an American secret agent, who is thought to have stolen a valuable cache of diamonds and is killed by evil ex-Nazi Szell (Laurence Olivier, nominated for Best Supporting Actor), an ex-concentration camp dentist by profession. Szell has come to New York City to retrieve the fortune in diamonds from a safe deposit box. Szell kidnaps Doc’s brother, lone, idealistic Jewish graduate student Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman), who knows nothing about his brother’s involvement.

In the most memorable torture scene to have ever been filmed, Szell uses his dental instruments for sadistic oral surgery to torture and extract information from Babe. Szell is pure evil and disturbingly effective during the torture, repeatedly asking Babe the question:
Is it safe?

Directed by John Schlesinger (best Director Oscar winner for Midnight Cowboy) this movie was from the very beginning intriguing and exciting. Even though when I first saw it I hid my face a few times during the torture scenes, I have since saw the film in it’s entirety and it is a cinematic masterpiece


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