Americaand the worldfell in love with Marty, the first film to win* both the Best Picture OscarÂ(r) and the Cannes Film Festival's Golden Palm. Nominated** for a total of eight Academy AwardsÂ(r), this timeless classic is rich in laughs and tearsa masterpiece of warm-hearted storytelling (The Hollywood Reporter). I ve been looking for a girl every Saturday night of my life, says Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine). Yet, despite all his efforts, this 34-year-old Bronx butcher remains as shy and uncomfortable around women today as on the day he was born. So when he meets Clara (Betsy Blair), a lonely schoolteacher who's just as smitten with himas he is with her, Marty's on top of the world. But not everyone around him shares Marty's joy. Andwhen his friends and family continually find fault with Clara, even Marty begins to question his newfound love until he discovers, in an extraordinary way, the strength and courage to follow his heart. *1955 **1955: Best Picture (won), Actor (Borgnine, won), Director (won), Supporting Actor (Joe Mantell), Supporting Actress (Blair), Screenplay (won), B&W Cinematography, Art Direction/Set Decoration (B&W)
Originally broadcast as a 50-minute drama on Philco Television Playhouse in 1953, Marty ensured Paddy Chayefsky's status as one of the greatest writers of television's golden age. When Chayefsky, director Delbert Mann, and actor Ernest Borgnine reunited for this 90-minute film version, the play had been polished with extra scenes, further perfecting Chayefsky's timeless study of loneliness and heartbreak. And the film, in which Borgnine excels as the single, 35-year-old "fat and ugly" butcher Marty Pilletti, received well-deserved Oscars® for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay. Although Chayefsky's central theme is the pain of being unwanted (as felt by Marty himself as well as his elderly Aunt Catherine, who's become a burden to her married daughter), the film is never somber or depressing, and achieves a rare quality of honesty, humor, and hopefulness without resorting to artifice or sentiment.
Marty's just about given up on love when he meets plain-looking Clara (Betsy Blair), a 29-year-old teacher who's endured similar cycles of rejection. Much of Marty explores the simple decency of these characters, their admirable qualities and mutual connection, and the slow escalation of self-esteem that will hold them together. Marty is a supremely compassionate film, but it's also an entertaining one, trimmed (like a good butcher's meat) of any dramatic fat. And although Blair (who earned an Oscar nomination) is superb in her role, it's worth noting that she's more conventionally "attractive" than Nancy Marchand (late of The Sopranos), who played Clara with arguably greater authenticity in the original 1953 telecast. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
Ernest Borgnine plays the role of Marty Piletti, a stocky, thirty-four year old, lonely Italian butcher living at home in the Bronx with his mother. He is the last of the Piletti brood still in the nest. Physically unattractive and a bit doltish, he is a socially awkward, lumbering lummox of internal pain and angst. His mother wants him to get married, or so she thinks, until the reality of what such might ultimately mean for her sinks in. She takes her cue from her sister, Marty's Aunt Catherine, who is living with her son and daughter-in-law and making their lives hell. Consequently, she is going to move in with Marty and his mother.
Marty spends most of his spare time with his friend Angie, as well as with a bunch of other losers. Unloved, unmarried, and unable to get a date, Marty has all but given up on finding Miss Right, when he meets a twenty-nine year old high school teacher, also from the Bronx, Clara Snyder (Betsy Blair), at the famous Stardust Ballroom. Clara, a well educated, nice plain-Jane, is there as part of a pity double date arranged by her brother-in-law. Unfortunately, her date turns out to be a total cad who unceremoniously tries to fob her off on anyone he can, so that he can get some action going with a hot babe he knows. Marty feels Clara's pain, so he asks her to dance, not knowing that he is meeting his feminine counterpart and soul-mate.Read more ›
There's real drama here and it's not just Marty who has problems. There are his young married cousins who are feeling the frustrations of living in a cramped apartment with their baby and widowed mother. There is Marty's mother who is afraid of living her own old age alone. There are his buddies who are as equally bored as Marty. But most of all, there is the wallflower schoolteacher, played by Betsy Blair, who is just a mite to pretty for the role. When Marty meets her at a dance where she has just been dumped by a blind date, he finds they have a lot in common and they both enjoy the evening immensely.
In spite of the film being made more than 46 years ago, it was still fresh and real. Paddy Chayefsky was a master with dialog. For example there is the exchange between Marty and his friend Angie. "Hey Marty, what do you feel like doing tonight?" "I don't know Angie. What do you feel like doing?" These lines get repeated a few times. And the audience just "gets it". Another famous line is when Marty says to the young woman who has just been crying on his shoulder.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie. This is one of those movies that are relatable for the common people. Of course having Ernest Borgnine as the lead is a bonus :). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rivkah
A true "Classic"! The story is as true today. I watch this once every year.Published 2 months ago by Laura
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