A Retold Tale of a Clip from _Marathon Man_

20 Jun


Rebecca and Face painting Customer
My Niece Rebecca


clip from Marathon Man, directed by John Schlesinger

Marathon Man, adapted by my favorite screenwriter, William Goldman, (Think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Princess Bride) from his novel of the same name, has a scene that remains one of my all-time favorites.  In the scene, a character named Christian Szell (played by Lawrence Olivier) who appears to be modeled on Mengele, the Nazi doctor (He is referred to as the White Angel), comes to the diamond district to fence some diamonds.  As he moves from place to place in the district, Jewish survivors of the concentration camps start to recognize him.  The scene works for several reasons–the  actor playing the Nazi, Olivier, is a perfect villain, the associations that we, the audience, have with the Jewish businessmen present in the diamond district in New York, and the quick pacing.

Apparently I gave Rebecca a rundown before, but she wasn’t able to stop my retelling of the story. The reason this topic came up last night is because Rebecca is a jewelry designer in Brooklyn and buys her supplies in Manhattan’s diamond district. She’ll probably give a little yelp (an unhappy one) when she realizes the scene is on her Facebook page.

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