Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Screening 13/4/11

s_dany posted:

"Is it safe?"

Η Κινηματογραφική Ομάδα
του Οικονομικού Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών (ΑΣΟΕΕ)
σας προσκαλεί στην προβολή της ταινίας
"Marathon Man"
(1976, John Schlesinger, "Ανθρωποκυνηγητό")
την Τετάρτη 13/4/11 στις 19:00
στο αμφιθέατρο Β (Πατησίων 76, κεντρικό κτίριο).
Είσοδος ελεύθερη.

AUEB Film Club
invites you to the screening of:
"Marathon Man"
(1976, John Schlesinger)
on Wednesday 13/4/11 at 19:00
in classroom B (76, Patission Str., central building).
Free entrance.

Original trailer it? ;-D

- Is it safe?... Is it safe?
‎- You're talking to me?
‎- Is it safe?
- Is what safe?
- Is it safe?
‎- I don't know what you mean. I can't tell you something's safe or not, unless I know specifically what you're talking about.
‎- Is it safe?
‎- Tell me what the "it" refers to.
‎- Is it safe?
- Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it.
‎- Is it safe?
‎- No. It's not safe, it's... very dangerous, be careful.

Best of IMDb trivia
[with some edits and highlights by me]

John Schlesinger envisioned a cast of Al Pacino, Julie Christie and Laurence Olivier. Pacino has said that the only actress he had ever wanted to work with was Christie, who he claimed was "the most poetic of actresses". Producer Robert Evans, who disparaged Pacino as "The Midget" when Francis Ford Coppola wanted him for "The Godfather" (1972) and had thought of firing him during the early shooting of the now-classic film, vetoed Pacino for the lead. Instead, Evans insisted on the casting of the even shorter Dustin Hoffman. Christie, who was notoriously finicky about accepting parts, even in prestigious, sure-fire material, turned down the female lead, which was then taken by Marthe Keller. Of his dream cast, Schlesinger only got Olivier, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Producer Robert Evans was set upon getting Laurence Olivier to play the part of Szell. However, because Olivier at the time was riddled with cancer, he was uninsurable so Paramount refused to use him. In desperation, Evans called his friends Merle Oberon and David Niven to arrange a meeting with the House of Lords (the upper body of the UK's parliament). There, he urged them to put pressure on Lloyds of London to insure Britain's greatest living actor. The ploy succeeded and a frail Olivier started working on the film. In the end, not only did he net an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but his cancer also went into remission. Olivier lived on for another 13 years.

Laurence Olivier plays the character of Dr. Christian Szell, based on the real Dr. Josef Mengele, head SS Doctor of Auschwitz, who was in hiding in South America when the movie was produced. Two years later, in 1978, Laurence Olivier acted in "The Boys from Brazil" (1978), a story about Dr. Mengele (played by Gregory Peck).

Although he was playing a graduate student, Dustin Hoffman was actually 38 at the time of filming. And although not particularly a fan of William Goldman's original novel, he took the part so that he could work with John Schlesinger again (the two had previously collaborated on "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)). He had also heard that Al Pacino was interested in the part and wanted to beat him to it.

Dustin Hoffman lost 15 pounds for this role. He ran up to four miles a day to get into shape for playing the part. He would never come into a scene and fake the breathing. According to producer Robert Evans, Hoffman "would run, just for a take, he would run for a half-mile so he came into the scene, he'd actually be out of breath."

During the scene where the heavies try to drown Dustin Hoffman in the bathtub, Hoffman (always the method actor) insisted upon being made to stay underwater as long as possible to make it real. Several takes were done and Hoffman insisted on being kept down longer in the water. By the end of the scene, he had to be given oxygen. In his own words, "I said, 'Don't press on my Adam's apple, but try to really hold me under. Let me see how long I can stay under. Let me see if I can fight you. Let me see what happens.'"

A story circulated for a long time that Dustin Hoffman (being a "method actor") stayed up all night to play a character who has stayed up all night. Arriving on the set, Laurence Olivier asked Hoffman why he looked the way he did. Hoffman told him, to which Olivier replied in jest, "Why not try acting? It's much easier." Hoffman repeatedly denied the story, and finally cleared up the matter in 2004. The torture scene was filmed early in the morning, Hoffman was going through a divorce from his first wife and was depressed, and had spent the previous two nights partying hard. Hoffman told Olivier this and his comment related to his lifestyle and not his "method" style of acting.

The torture scene was shortened after preview audiences were taken sick. Laurence Olivier was so afraid that he would accidentally hurt Dustin Hoffman while filming the torture scene that he would constantly ask Hoffman if he was all right after shooting a take. As a joke, Hoffman tried to make Olivier think that he had really hurt him by screaming in a very convincing and unexpected manner.

The movie's line "Is it safe?" was voted as the #70 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

There are two photos of long-distance runner legends in Babe's room: one is of Abebe Bikila, who is also seen running in the beginning of the film. The other is of Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist.

On the last day of shooting, Laurence Olivier visited Dustin Hoffman at his home, bringing with him 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" as a gift. He then proceeded to read scenes from several of the plays, much to Hoffman's delight. The actor credits the story about his conflict with Olivier to general malice on the part of writer William Goldman, who didn't take kindly to the fact that Hoffman had persuaded director John Schlesinger to change the ending of Goldman's book.

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