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Marathon Man Blu-ray

United States
Warner Bros. | 1976 | 125 min | Rated R | Sep 10, 2013

Marathon Man (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (25.95 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Note: 2.0=mono...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.98, Price history
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.8
87
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Be the first to review it!

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Psychological thriller54%
Thriller-
Crime-
Action-
47%
popularity
385
collections
27
fans




Marathon Man

 (1976)

Marathon Man Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

In New York City, the brother of an infamous Nazi war criminal, Szell, “The White Angel” of Auschwitz, is killed in a fiery car accident. Szell is forced out of hiding in South America to retrieve the hidden valuables that his brother was safeguarding, but first he must make certain that he isn’t in danger. Szell’s suspicions focus on “Babe” Levy, a Columbia graduate student and marathon runner, who is the younger brother of “Doc” Levy, one of the couriers working for Szell’s now-dead brother. One day the unsuspecting young man finds himself tied to a chair being interrogated by Szell, a former dentist who knows how to inflict pain, and now wants to know, simply, “Is it safe?”

For more about Marathon Man and the Marathon Man Blu-ray release, see Marathon Man Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane, Marthe Keller, Fritz Weaver
Director: John Schlesinger

» See full cast & crew


Marathon Man Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Marathon Man was shot by three-time Oscar winner Conrad Hall, who had just worked with director Schlesinger on The Day of the Locust (1975), for which his work was nominated yet again. But Hall's photography on Marathon Man looks nothing like the painterly richness for which he is best known and that created such memorable imagery for Road to Perdition, American Beauty and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hall's three Oscars). For Schlesinger's thriller, Hall created the kind of bleak, flat, crumbling landscape for which Sidney Lumet was noted in films of this period like Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon—and like Schlesinger himself had used in Midnight Cowboy. It's only on multiple viewings (and when you're looking for it) that you begin to notice the Conrad Hall tweaks: the carefully placed mirrors or source lights that shift the image ever so slightly to give it a more deliberate composition and bit of additional polish.

It is unclear whether the transfer used on Warner's 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray is the same as the one on the region-free U.K. Blu-ray released by Paramount in June earlier this year. At the very least, the U.S. and U.K. discs of Marathon Man are differently authored, with the U.K. disc containing many more language options. (Complete listings are available at the top of each disc's entry.)

If one has been a fan of the film since its initial release and has seen it repeatedly through multiple video versions, as I have, it's not hard to recognize this Blu-ray from Warner/Paramount as a faithful reproduction of Conrad Hall's original photography. Detail is plentiful, and the film's natural grain has been preserved without ever becoming overemphasized, even in certain outdoor shots where the production had to rely on natural light, using the era's far less sensitive film stocks. Colors are somewhat undersaturated, and they always have been. Marathon Man's palette is meant to be weak, wan and lifeless, reflective of a society that has lost confidence in itself (which was the essence of the Seventies paranoid thriller). "They were always so confident God was on their side", Szell says contemptuously when he arrives in America. "Now I think they are not so sure." The urban decay of New York in the Seventies and the undersaturated colors convey that same message visually.

The source material is in excellent shape, and no untoward digital manipulation appears to have been applied. If one looks very closely, a touch of video noise can be seen from time to time, but it's fleeting. The average bitrate of 25.95 is appropriate for a film of this vintage with a demanding natural grain structure, and I did not encounter any artifacts.

Trivia note: Marathon Man was the second film to use the newly invented Steadicam, but the first one to reach theaters. The first to use the Steadicam, Bound for Glory, was released a few months later.


Marathon Man Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Marathon Man was originally released in mono, but Paramount remixed the sound in 5.1 for its 2001 DVD. That track is presented here in lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1. Like most of Paramount's remixes, the approach is conservative, keeping the action and dialogue in the front and using the multi-channel format primarily to benefit the atmospheric score by Michael Small, an essential composer for Seventies films (Klute, The Parallax View, The Driver, Comes a Horseman). The dynamic range is excellent, and the dialogue is always clear.

Paramount's DVD also included the film's original mono track (described as "restored mono"). It was omitted from the U.K. Blu-ray, but has been included here as an option in DD 2.0.



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Marathon Man Blu-ray, News and Updates



Marathon Man Blu-ray - May 15, 2013

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of director John Schlesinger's classic 1976 thriller, Marathon Man, starring Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Marthe Keller, Roy Scheider and William Devane. The film is being released on Blu-ray ...


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