The conspiracy movies included two fictional stories, "Marathon Man" and "The Parallax View", as well as the Watergate movie, "All the President's Men" (which Robert Redford produced after giving long consideration to a movie about how Kennedy stole the 1960 election?not!).
"Marathon Man" was directed by John Schlesinger, written by the great William Goldman (based on his novel), and produced by Bob Evans. Goldman, along with Towne, is considered one of the best screenwriters of all time. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1968) is an original screenplay that gets as much study as "Chinatown", and his book "Adventures in the Screen Trade" is a must-read for industry insiders. "Marathon Man" stars Dustin Hoffman as a Columbia doctoral student, obsessed with his thesis about his father, who committed suicide when he was "victimized" by McCarthyism. His brother is Roy Scheider, a super-secret agent for an organization that handles, apparently, what the FBI cannot and the CIA will not. His pal is William DeVane, and he is in league with the devil, a former Nazi dentist named Christian Zsell (played to perfection by Laurence Olivier), based on Joseph Mengele. Zsell is also known as the "White Angel". The plot revolves around millions of dollars worth of diamonds, smuggled to the U.S. by Zsell with DeVane's (and Sheider's) help. Hoffman accidentally gets involved and foils the plot. It is brilliant stuff in every way, shape and form, but coming on the heels of the Church hearings, the film plays on the public's belief that the CIA is corrupt, bent more on money and power than protecting the interests of freedom. The anti-hero is Hoffman. The backstory of his persecuted Jewish father strengthens the myth that fine liberals of conscience were the victims of the McCarthy witch-hunt. Like all films depicting McCarthyism, the victim is fictional and there are no scenes based on real events. This is because actual scenes of actual "victims," if they hold to the truth, will show actual Communists being caught in lies by public officials using perfectly normally and legal techniques of American justice.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism