TL;DR I agree with Amy and voted no.
I’d never watched this film before last week, when I watched it for the podcast. It was fine to watch and it worked well enough, but I’ll probably never purposefully seek it out for another viewing.
There were a few very good scenes in the movie, but they weren’t tied together well. Devin brought up a very good quote from Ebert’s review about this: “They do not add up to a plot that holds water. If holes in plots bother you, "Marathon Man" will be maddening.”
I didn’t care for Hoffman’s Babe, who was an utterly passive protagonist who drifted through the movie reacting irrationally as events transpired. I also particularly disliked the final showdown where the villain tumbles down the stairs and is impaled on his own knife. Hearing about how it was changed from the source material made me like it even less.
While I appreciate Devin’s stance at the end of the podcast, is the purpose of the Canon merely to recognize movies that are solid? If the purpose of the Canon podcast is to cultivate a list of important and influential films, I don’t see how this gets in.
Marathon Man isn’t the best example of the work of anyone involved and doesn’t seem to be particularly innovative artistically, technically, or socially. One of the reasons I like The Canon is Devin & Amy usually explain why important films are meaningful and I just didn’t get that from watching Marathon Man or listening to the accompanying podcast. Looking at a list of films released in 1976, there are many excellent candidates for The Canon but I just don't see it here.
Anyhow, I enjoyed this week's episode and look forward to next week's coverage of Se7en.
PS- As far as the generational divide goes, I’m in my 30s and do not recall ever hearing the “Is it safe?” exchange as a pop culture reference.