Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"Marathon Man" and "The Little Shop of Horrors" are both known for their dental torture scenes

On of my favorite 70s films was “Marathon Man” (1976, Paramount), by John Schlessinger, based on the novel by William Goldman.

The greatest scene is the “Is it safe?” inquisition where Babe (Dustin Hoffman) is tortured by a dentist disguising his identity as a Nazi war criminal (Szell, played by Laurence Olivier).

Babe is a doctoral graduate student in history, Doc (Roy Scheider) is his brother, and Elsa Opel (Marthe Keller) is the girl friend, and Chen (James Wing Woo) is the rogue assassin (a kind of Pie-o-Pah).

I saw the film in midtown Manhattan in a large palace in the fall of 1976.

The other great dental torture scene comes from the first “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960, Roger Corman), written by Charles B. Griffith, with its “masochist and sadist” scene.  This film was shown on the Saturday night “Chiller” series in 1964.  Here’s the dental torture clip.    (The remake (by Frank Oz for Geffen and Warner Brothers in 1986), as I recalled, as a musical with Audrey as the carnivorous plant didn't have that scene. It also omits the definite article.)

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