Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Post Graduate

There are a bunch of great movies that I've never seen because I am chicken. For instance: Marathon Man (1976). This came out when I was in college, and friends tortured me just by hinting about the unorthodox dental procedures and the cryptic "Is it safe?" line. But Ms. Spenser is made of sterner stuff, and she wanted to see it again, so...

It starts with an old Nazi and an old Jew getting into a rather comic road rage incident in Manhattan. Dustin Hoffman is a history grad student in New York, also training for a marathon, who passes by the not-so-funny aftermath on a training run. Hoffman's brother is Roy Scheider, this time not in little pants, a man with secrets. Heck, even Hoffman's Swiss girlfriend has secrets.

The thriller aspect of MM is great, but I kind of expected that. What I wasn't expecting was the great look of the movie. I guess I should have known - the 70s were full of this kind of thing: stolen cityscapes, multi-layered reflections, artistic angles, etc. It isn't too flashy here, just a nice touch.

The people involved are legendary, with Laurence Olivier (who famously advised Hoffman to "try acting"), John Schlesinger directing, Robert Evans producing and script by William Goldman. And in the end, the tooth torture wasn't as bad as I thought.

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