Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’

Marathon Man – Starring Dustin Hoffman & Laurence Olivier

Posted by the editors on Monday, 12 December 2011

Marathon Man (1976)    Directed by John Schlesinger ( Far From the Madding Crowd (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), The Day of the Locust (1975)), starring Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy (1969), Straw Dogs (1971), Straight Time (1978), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006))Roy Scheider (The French Connection (1971), All That Jazz (1979)) and Laurence Olivier (Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), Sleuth (1972), The Boys from Brazil (1978), and many, many others, of course).   This classic thriller is distinguished by some very good acting on the part of Hoffman, as Babe Levy, an emotionally confused, guilt-ridden and rather annoying history graduate student, and, of course, Laurence Olivier as Dr. Szell, a politely, coldly demonic ex-Nazi, gem-smuggling sadistic dentist.  Roy Scheider, as  Hoffman’s brother Doc, secretly an agent for a clandestine government agency, is really quite good, as well.  Marathon Man is also characterised by an effective use of place: New York, Paris, and very briefly South America, and a sensitivity to lighting, all of which contribute to an overall atmosphere essential to its success.  The plot is, shall we say, a bit confused, replete with double-crossing, triple-crossing and perhaps even more, and, in the end, Marathon Man may be a bit weak on logic.  But perhaps that’s not really the point, as the tension of scene after scene is more than palpable and the acting so very good. (PR)

See our previous posts on the films Sunday Bloody Sunday directed by John Schlesinger, Straw Dogs and Straight Time starring Dustin Hoffman, and The French Connection with Roy Scheider.

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Straight Time starring Dustin Hoffman

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Straight Time (1978)(DVD) Directed by Ulu Grosbard (The Subject Was Roses (1968)Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), True Confessions (1981), Falling in Love (1984)), starring Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy (1969), Straw Dogs (1971), Papillon (1973), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and many other excellent films), Harry Dean Stanton (Cool Hand Luke (1967), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), Paris, Texas (1984), The Green Mile (1999) and many others), Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story (1978), Point Break (1991), Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (1998))Kathy Bates (Misery (1990), Primary Colors (1998), Revolutionary Road (2008)) and others.  Dustin Hoffman, also producer of the film, is excellent as Max Dembo , a rather small-time criminal, with a record going back to when he was 12 years old, who, after getting out of prison for a six-year stint for burglary, gives going straight a very brief attempt, and succumbs, of course, to his usual ways.  Harry Dean Stanton, as one of Dembo’s partners, is excellent, Gary Busey earns his fate, as another of Dembo’s partners.  Kathy Bates, in a small role as Busey’s wife, is just fine.

Ulu Grosbard, an assistant director on such great films as Splendor in the Grass(1961)West Side Story (1961), and The Hustler (1961), also directed Hoffman in Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? and Robert DeNiro in True Confessions and Falling in Love (with Meryl Streep).

Straight Time is most definitely a film worth seeing, despite it being rarely cited as one of Hoffman’s best. (PR)

See our previous post on Straw Dogs, starring Dustin Hoffman.

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