[[quoteright:340:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marathon_man.jpg]]
->''Is it safe?''

A 1974 WilliamGoldman novel and 1976 film. DustinHoffman plays Thomas "Babe" Levy, a history graduate student and aspiring marathon runner. Babe seeks to follow in the footsteps of his father, a historian who committed suicide after being unjustly targeted by Joseph [=McCarthy=]. He receives a visit from his brother Henry, who, unbeknownst to Babe, is a government agent assigned to manage the fugitive Nazi Christian Szell (LaurenceOlivier). Babe soon becomes entangled in events, and must fight to save himself from Szell and his allies.

A very surrealistic sequel to the novel, ''Brothers'', was published several years later.

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!!''Marathon Man'' provides examples of:
* AffablyEvil: Szell is downright fatherly with Babe...in between torture sessions.
* AlmostDeadGuy: A partial example, in that he can't manage to tell Babe anything, but everyone assumes he has.
* BaldOfEvil: [[DepravedDentist Guess]].
* BelatedHappyEnding: In ''Brothers'', it turns out [[spoiler: Scylla is still alive. He gets to reunite with Babe... if only for a moment]].
* BilingualBonus: The car chase scene in the beginning, with brilliant insults in German and Yiddish being exchanged.
* BookEnds: In the first and last shots of Babe, he's running by the Central Park Reservoir.
* CassandraTruth: [[spoiler:The old Jewish lady who recognizes Szell. Everybody in the area hearing her yell, "It's Szell!" thinks she's senile.]]
* CatchPhrase: "Is it safe?" for Dr. Szell.
* ChekhovsSkill: Guess what.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Dr. Szell
* DepravedDentist: One of the most famous examples.
* DisposableWoman
* TheDogBitesBack
* EvenEvilHasStandards: One of Szell's henchman turns his head terrified when Szell tortures Babe with his dental instruments.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Szell.
* GoryDiscretionShot: [[spoiler: When Szell drills into Babe's teeth.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Film only; [[spoiler:Szell falls down a staircase while chasing after the briefcase of diamonds and impales himself on his own blade]].
* ImagineSpot
* InterrogatedForNothing: Babe gives every possible answer, several times, during his torture, but Szell is never satisfied.
* IronicEcho: "It's not safe."
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Poor Doc]]
* MadDoctor
* MementoMacGuffin: The gun Babe's father used to shoot himself.
* TheMole: More than one.
* NaziGrandpa: Doctor Szell is kindly toward children who visit his dentist's office. He's less kindly to people who are in his care when he wants information from them.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Szell is loosely based on Josef Mengele.
* NothingUpMySleeve: Szell has a retractable blade up his sleeve.
* OhCrap: The {{Reveal}} that [[spoiler:Janeway is TheMole]] and Babe's escape has failed.
* PrecisionFStrike: "I couldn't give a fuck about your [[spoiler:Stab!]]"
* SceneryPorn
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules
* StrappedToAnOperatingTable
* SuddenlySexuality: Toyed with. In the novel, there are early hints that [[spoiler: Scylla is dating Janeway]], and it later turns out that they are. No big deal is ever made of this. In the sequel ''Brothers'', [[spoiler: Scylla suddenly sleeps with a random woman, and only kisses a man while undercover during a spy mission]].
* TheToothHurts: Indeed it does.
* ThisIsADrill
* ThwartedEscape
* TokenEvilTeammate: Melendez, the burglar Babe lets ransack his place in exchange for helping him with Szell's men.
* TookALevelInBadass: Babe at the end.
* ToThePain: "So, I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. That is unless, of course, you can tell me that it's safe."
** [[spoiler:"I'll let you keep as many as you can swallow."]]
* YouWouldntShootMe: [[spoiler: Szell says this to Babe when the latter refuses to pull the trigger. Babe responds by chucking what's left of the diamond stash into the reservoir.]]
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