True or False Trivia: Marathon Man


One of the fascinating pieces of trivia below is true*, the other is false. Do YOU know which is which?

Marathon Man (1976)

1) Producer Robert Evans was set upon getting Laurence Olivier to play the role 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 British parliament). There, he urged them to put pressure on Lloyd’s 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.

Big Book of British Smiles


2) Dustin Hoffman, notorious for his method acting, prepared for his role by running in every marathon the world had to offer at the time. Hoffman became so adept at running marathons that he could finish the 26-mile races in just under an hour, shattering previous world records by more than half. Even after all that, Hoffman still felt that he wasn’t quite ready for the part, so he spurned human competition for machine, running against some of the fastest cars in the world at the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans. Unfortunately for Hoffman, a vindictive Paul Newman, who had lobbied hard for Hoffman’s role, was racing at the event incognito, and ran Hoffman over with his car numerous times. Despite the majority of his bones being splintered and some of his internal organs protruding from his mouth and anus, Hoffman continued to run, as that’s what he felt his character would do. He finished in third, which Laurence Olivier would make fun of him for every single day until his death in 1989.    

Car near miss


*true trivia courtesy of

13 thoughts on “True or False Trivia: Marathon Man

  1. I am Nhoj NiatnuoM and I speak on behalf of John Mountain whom you have banned from commenting. If I were him (and I am not) I would say that the answer is 2.

    Liked by 1 person

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