Among other things Marty will be known for is being the best film Burt Lancaster ever produced without Burt Lancaster the actor. Hard to disagree with four Academy Awards credited to the film.Originally a made for television drama that starred Rod Steiger in the title role, Marty piqued the interest of both Burt Lancaster and his producer partner Harold Hill. Rod Steiger had gotten very good reviews for his interpretation of the part of the thirty something Bronx butcher. However upon getting the film rights, Lancaster himself did not want to cast Steiger again because he felt no one would <more>
see the film again after seeing Steiger on free television. Lancaster also personally cast Ernest Borgnine in the lead after having worked with him on From Here to Eternity.In 1955 Marty on television and the big screen struck a resonant cord with the American public. Something about the tale of the Bronx butcher longing anxiously for a life soul mate made it a universal theme about fear of loneliness. The plot such as it is has Marty going to the Stardust Ballroom and meeting plain jane school teacher Betsy Blair. Marty has a lot going against the relationship. His erstwhile friends, as big a pack of losers ever created for the screen, don't want to lose one of their number. His mother, after listening to her sister, changes from pushing him out the door to meet new people, to strongly urging him to forget Betsy Blair. The conversation between the two women, Esther Minciotti as Borgnine's mother and Agusta Ciolli as his Aunt Katherine is a classic.One of Marty's biggest boosters was columnist Walter Winchell. He plugged the film a lot in his column and was very instrumental in beating the publicity drums for Marty. Ironic since two years later, Burt Lancaster delivered a cinema indictment against Winchell in playing Winchell clone, J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success.No doubt Winchell helped because Marty scored with four Oscars. Best Picture of 1955, Best Actor Ernest Borgnine, Best Director Delbert Mann and Best Adapted Screenplay Paddy Chayefsky. There were also nominations for Best Supporting Actress for Betsy Blair and Best Supporting Actor for Joe Mantell as Marty's 'friend' Angie.Though its mores are definitely ground in the Fifties, Marty is a timeless tale that could easily be rewritten for the 21st centuries. There are still butchers in the Bronx and 30 something school teachers looking for love. It's what makes it universal.
As a kid I came to know Ernest Borgnine through "McHales Navy". Then I grew up and quickly forgot everything I ever knew about him. Then along came a movie called "Quiz Show", about the game show scandals of the 50's, where one of the plot points revolved around a game show question pertaining to this movie winning Best Picture and Ernest Borgnine winning Best Actor. And I thought to myself, is this made up? What could the guy from McHales Navy possibly do to win an Oscar for Best Actor? It seemed ridiculous. A fluke. Possibly made up for the movie "Quiz <more>
Show". After passing up numerous opportunities to see this film over the last 40 plus years I finally saw it on TCM and I am schooled. Everyone in their lives, no matter how beautiful they are, or think they are, has felt like these characters at some point. It is the universal feeling of loneliness and alienation and it is explored thoughtfully and sympathetically here. It also explores the casualties of love. A daughter gets married, equals a Mother loses her son. A guy falls in love with a girl, equals his best friend loses companionship. Falling in love shifts everything around it and not always gently. Love is messy even at its borders. So here we have Ernest Borgnine and Esther Minciotti, son and Mother in the film, giving truly once in a lifetime performances in this tiny little movie. Their kindness towards each other, far beyond the script they're working from, is touching. Jerry Paris, pre Dick Van Dyke show, is remarkable as another son with his own set of relationship problems. The sarge from "Gomer Pyle" is in this too. It's a proverbial cavalcade of upcoming '60's television. But at it's heart it is a touching movie that everyone should see. I wish I hadn't waited so long. Ernest Borgnine was given the chance of a lifetime to play Marty. Though terrific in everything he ever did, nothing before or after Marty gave him the opportunity to show what a truly gifted actor he is. Thank God someone was smart enough to cast him.
"Marty" is an absolutely fabulous movie which takes on a formidable approach to social realism, this is a feat which was not depicted all too frequently back in 1955!! The film, "Marty" won the academy award for best picture in 1955, and, with the plethora of talent this movie possessed, it is no wonder!! Ernest Borgnine is spectacular as the hard luck simpleton, his reputation in Hollywood speaks for itself! Betsy Blair She was compelling in "A Delicate Balance" is a method actress who carries off her agitated emotions with a very subtle disposition! Jerry <more>
Paris Jerry on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" is a wealth of talent who was incredibly believable in this film! Many of the other actors and actresses with smaller roles in this movie were powerfully cogent as well! Paddy Chayefsky, Most famous for "Network" who writes the screenplay, has an amazing amount of talent regarding his ability to evoke heartfelt emotions which are esoteric in their comprehension!! The whole movie puts Ernest Borgnine on the spot to change the course of his floundering environment which was categorized by the negative associations to his cultural stereotype! To say that these two characters Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair were introverted, would be a masterpiece of understatement!! The ill-timed fiascoes of being loquacious one moment, and taciturn the next, became a volatile characteristic that obliterated the ground rules to casual dating!! The conversations with Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair, always encompassed the visceral components of perseverance!! Trapped in a situation of a lower middle class environment of an emerging ethnicity, the urge for Marty to necessitate a metamorphosis in his prevailing situation became an insurmountable obstacle course!! Ernest Borgnine's portliness was a good tool to convey his plight as the disgruntled curmudgeon who was perennially despondent! The uplifting insight to Marty meeting a girl, for whom he liked and had a lot in common with, became a necessary camaraderie that overcame circumstantial doubts and insecurities! Throughout this entire movie, Paddy Chayefsky's writing effort itemizes reality, and allows Marty to conquer adversity in a way that is thoroughly plausible! I liken this film to "Rocky" as both of these movies illustrate a boorish Italian-American environment to be the single biggest form of societal intimidation! The unassuming demeanor to the genre of "Marty" became the most stellar characteristic to the picture's success! I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful the film "Marty" was, and, I think anyone who has a curiosity about academy award winning films, should definitely consider seeing this movie!!
Simple, Beautiful and Touching Love Story With Magnificent Performance of the Cast and Sensitive Direction (by claudio_carvalho)
Marty Piletti Ernest Borgnine is a lonely, insecure and honest thirty-four years old good man, living with his Italian mother, Mrs. Theresa Piletti Esther Minciotti , and working as a butcher. Angie Joe Mantell is his best friend, a very shallow person, and his company to the bars and ballrooms in the evenings, since the ugly and fat Marty is rejected by the girls. His Italian family and friends put pressure on him to get married, but Marty has no girlfriend and lots of difficulties to get close to women. One Saturday night, Marty meets Clara Snyder Betsy Blair , a twenty-nine single, <more>
ugly obs: `dog', in accordance with the description of Marty's friends in the story, but indeed Betsy Blair was a charming woman, having beautiful eyes and lovely smile and voice and rejected woman, in a ballroom. Betsy is a teacher in Brooklyn with college degree, and like Marty, is very insecure and has the feeling of rejection by men. They feel attracted by each other and spend a wonderful night together. On the next day, before and after the Sunday Mass, Marty's relatives and friends make jokes with the lack of beauty in Clara. The marvelous open end of the story, uncommon in American movies, is one of the best I have ever seen. This movie is a simple, beautiful and touching love story with magnificent performances of the cast and a sensitive direction. The story and slangs dog, tomatoes etc. are dated in 2004, but does not jeopardize the beauty of this delightful romance. `Marty' is the only Best Picture winner awarded in Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay and nominated for Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Art-Direction and Cinematography to also win at the Cannes Film Festival. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : `Marty'
The only reason I gave this movie nine stars instead of ten is that it ended too soon!It is hard to find a single thing wrong with this film. Stretching the imagination, one could call some of the attitudes "dated". For example, the mothers think college girls are "one step from the street", during an era in which wives were still expected to be stay-at-home moms. But still, this remains almost the perfect film for the group of viewers who appreciate heart- warming stories. It will probably leave the "Rambo" crowd cold. I usually judge the success of a film by <more>
the "squirm factor"; if I am sorry to see the film end, I know I've watched a good film. By this standard, Marty is a superb film in every way. We really do care what happens after the credits roll.See this film!
A classic, one of its kind. It touches an issue, which I don't think any other movie, if any, has ever touched this well: How world treats you if you do not get married in time. The movie shows how important a life partner is for a human being male or female , how such people start loosing interest in life & faith in themselves. For them every fault in them, becomes a reason for not finding a companion. But the movie also shows that it is just one person you need, to peek at the good heart you carry. That's when the world goes upside down for Marty. How his own mother and his <more>
friends react to his newfound love is fun to watch. It is a short movie but shows both scenarios, before and after Marty finds love, well. The movie captures another social issue of life of widows after their kids get married; the movie looks at it from both the sides, the kids and the parents. The best scene of the movie however is when Marty, his mother and his newfound love are in one frame. An excellent screenplay, filled with funny stuff periodically.
the most honest characters I've ever seen.... (by tripper0)
'Marty' is a movie that can be summed up simply in three words. It's very honest. Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair play the two main characters, Marty and Clara. The bulk of the movie takes place over one night, the night Marty and Clara meet. Everything is really that simple. The thing that is great is that neither of the characters is anything but human. They are flawed, they are insecure, and they are awkward around each other and don't know how to act in certain situations. The chemistry between Blair and Borgnine is absolutely beautiful. They give us a relationship that is <more>
real. There are moments in the movie, that I won't give away, that are almost hard to watch and its hard not to feel sympathy. At the same time, its hard not to relate to the characters on some level. They are human, they are flawed, and its beautiful to watch, yet sad at the same time. I was surprised by the charm of the movie and I recommend it to anyone. 8.5 out of 10.
A Modest Slice-of-Life Look at a Lonely Butcher's Life-Changing Weekend (by EUyeshima)
Having just seen Jeff Garlin's charmingly lightweight "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With", I was curious to see its inspiration since there is constant reference to it throughout, including a scene where Gina Gershon and teen idol Aaron Carter are hilariously miscast in the leads of a stage version. Running only ninety minutes, the 1955 movie holds the distinction of being the shortest film to win the Best Picture Oscar, and its scale is indeed very small it covers a weekend in the life of a lonely, overweight Bronx butcher named Marty Piletti. The eldest of six children, the <more>
youngest of whom just got married, Marty lives a routine life living with his widowed mother and hanging out with best pal Angie the source of a classically circular piece of dialogue - "What do you feel like doing tonight?" "I don't know, Ange. What do you feel like doing?" . Pushed by his mother to go to the Stardust Ballroom where there are a "lot of tomatoes", he inadvertently meets Clara, an equally lonely spinster schoolteacher from Brooklyn. It's intriguing to see how cultural mores have changed since both characters are considered over-the-hill for marriage even though he is only 34 and she 29. As they grapple toward intimacy, they face not only their own doubts but those of the people closest to Marty since they become aware how dependent they are on his constant availability.Directed by Delbert Mann in his first time out at the helm, the production seems accurate in capturing the atmosphere of the mid-1950's lower middle class, and the dramatically effective setting allows Marty's story to take on a well-earned poignancy. This has primarily to do with the honest, unsentimental dialogue by Paddy Chavefsky several years before "The Hospital" and "Network" . The observant performances complement the treatment with Ernest Borgnine giving his career-best performance in the title role. Even though he is sometimes too robust to be completely convincing as a socially defeated man, he brings surprising force to scenes when his self-awareness no longer can be hide his pain. Looking very much like Julie Harris at the time, Betsy Blair has a tougher role as Clara since her character is so withdrawn as to fade when Marty dominates the conversation. Even with her intentionally lank presence, Blair is too attractive to be considered mercilessly as a "dog". The rest of the cast takes more predictable turns Esther Minciotti as Marty's clinging Italian mother, Joe Mantell as codependent Angie, Jerry Paris a few years before his days as neighbor Jerry Helper on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and Karen Steele constantly bickering as Marty's cousin and his wife. It's a solidly modest film with no pretensions. Other than the theatrical trailer featuring producer Burt Lancaster's glowing praises, the DVD has no significant extras.
Ernest Borgnine is terrific as "Marty". A self-admitted "fat, ugly" thirty-something man who lives with his mother. The film is lovely in that it stars an admittedly unattractive person, and deals with his feelings of loneliness and insecurity. Mr. Borgnine doesn't just stumble into this performance; he is given the part of his lifetime, and gives it everything he's got, creating a marvelous simple, but complicated, character.Now, I agree this is an excellent film, and I know, for the time, being single and middle-aged must have been devastating - but there is a <more>
very distracting flaw in this movie - Betsy Blair is no "dog" of a woman. I don't think, during any time, men would think of her as ugly. Ms. Blair is just not homely, and it does detract from an otherwise excellent script. Blair also has a job/profession; I would consider her a prime "catch" for most of the men in this movie. Blair does her best, though... you'll just have to imagine her as someone you'd have to give a man $5.00 to take home. ******** Marty 4/11/55 Delbert Mann ~ Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti