Three chilling words, spoken repeatedly by a sadistic exiled Nazi war criminal (Laurence Olivier), become a nightmare catchphrase for Thomas "Babe" Levy (Dustin Hoffman), a Manhattan graduate student who is innocently swept into a deadly international conspiracy involving a renegade U.S. government agent and a fortune in stolen diamonds. Director John Schlesinger builds terror and suspense in this thrilling adaptation of William Goldman's best-selling novel. The film's acclaimed cast also includes Roy Scheider, William Devane and Marthe Keller; Olivier garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination' for his terrifyingly unforgettable role of Christian Szell, a former concentration camp dentist.
Although there are some scenes with Hoffman running in a park, he is neither very good at it nor is there much point to it. The plot is much more about Hoffman's character caught unwittingly in a horrible mistake. His brother is an agent and a particularly unpleasant dentist is after him. I was a little surprised how highly vaunted this film has become. It is not brilliant, Hoffman's acting is a bit strange sometimes but you soon get caught up in it.
Laurence Olivier is unbelievable as the Nazi on the run. Dustin Hoffman is superb as the student who is way out of his depth in this government conspiracy thriller.
You don't get better than the first few minutes of this film - a couple of pensioners arguing in cars in 1976 New York. Never seen an introduction film like this before - it starts the pace and panic very quickly. Every scene has tension and the dialogue contains the outrageously intense three words - IS IT SAFE?
This is one of the best films of the 1970s - you must see it for your collection. Marthe Keller is a great supporting actress as the girlfriend who has a secret to hide. This is a brutal and nasty thriller, watch it!