Marathon Man (1976)

Thrillers have come a long way since Marathon Man. Dustin Hoffman plays a graduate student caught in a web of international politics, theft, and deception in New York City. He does a good job playing naïve and the bad guys are bad.

Unlike today's mystery thrillers, this one leaves a bit more left unsaid - we never find out what the father was accused of and we never learn what the full connection between the temptress is to the antagonists. I like not knowing everything - it keeps me watching to the last second.

Also unlike today's fast paced, technology focused thrillers, this one moves much slower. The film seems to make a few nods to some Bond films with the dentist villain who tortures his victims using his profession, but the effects of the torture are much more realistic and you get the sense that this is really happening or really could happen.

The climax of the film really challenged me and my own values. Would I have had the courage to do what Hoffman's character does?


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