peteg's blog

Marathon Man

/noise/movies | Link

A strange thriller starring Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. If I got this right, in 1976 Hoffman was tortured and half-killed by Nazi "White Angel" Olivier (in a switcheroo from The Boys from Brazil), up in NYC from Uruguay to cash his diamonds personally after his daigou brother's fatal car accident involving an equally obnoxious Jew. As far as I could tell this was entirely pointless as Hoffman was no more involved than black ops agent William Devane made him; I mean, Devane's entire role seemed to be to talk the plot to him and us as an in-frame narrator. Marthe Keller played the Marta Hari, literally, but woe, she cannot control her emotions. Before we got to that Hoffman's brother Roy Scheider swanned around Europe for quite a while doing god knows what. Why Olivier walked the Holocaust-survivor-filled jewel markets of NYC expecting impunity eluded me. And so forth. I grant that the acting is solid.

IMDB rates it 7.5/10 but it's a lot more vacuous than that: the moral is to keep a loaded automatic handgun in your desk draw at all times, especially if you're a history grad student at Columbia.

Roger Ebert was similarly defeated.