Marathon Man (1976)

Cinema Classics Seminar: Marathon Man

Going Steadi
Wednesday, December 13, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Instructor: Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education, BMFI
Location: Multimedia Room
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
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While perhaps not as recognized as some other entries in the Watergate-era cycle of political-paranoia films (e.g., The Conversation, All the Presidents Men), Marathon Man (1976) runs second to none in terms of cultural relevance, moral complexity, and cinematic technique. Directed by John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy), written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), produced by Robert Evans (Chinatown), shot by Conrad Hall (Cool Hand Luke), and starring Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) and Roy Scheider (The French Connection), the film has undeniable New Hollywood bona fides. Yet, it also has an indelible touch of the studio era through Laurence Olivier’s Oscar-nominated performance, as well as an eye toward the future of filmmaking, since Marathon Man was the first film to be released that utilized the tremendously innovative Steadicam.

In the film, based on Goldman’s 1974 novel, a graduate student, Thomas “Babe” Levy (Hoffman), becomes embroiled in a plot involving his own brother, “Doc” (Scheider), a shadowy government agency, and a Nazi war criminal, Dr. Christian Szell (Olivier). Built on this premise, and guided by the exceptional characterization of Levy, the filmmakers weave a complex web of themes and conflicts—familial, historical, political—that are brought to life through a series of escalating, and, at times, harrowing, confrontations. Certainly, it is safe to say Marathon Man warrants further consideration.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. Students meet in the 2nd floor Multimedia room for an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. The film itself is shown in one of our theaters. Your ticket for the screening, as well as popcorn and a drink, are included with your registration.

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Sessions · Click to add to calendar
  • Wednesday, December 13
    6:30pm 2017-12-13 18:30:00 2017-12-13 22:00:00 America/New_York Cinema Classics Seminar: Marathon Man Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA