Marty (1955)


Marty is a 1955 American film directed by Delbert Mann, starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair. The film was adapted from a teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky that was telecast live May 24, 1953, on The Goodyear Television Playhouse, with Rod Steiger in the title role. The film enjoyed international success, winning the 1955 Academy Award for Best Picture and becoming the second American film to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Marty and The Lost Weekend (1945) are the only two films to win both organizations' grand prizes.


The film stars Borgnine as Marty Piletti, a heavy-set Italian-American butcher who lives in the Bronx with his mother. Unmarried at 34, the good-natured but socially awkward man faces constant badgering from family and friends to get married. Not averse to marriage but disheartened by his lack of prospects, Marty has reluctantly resigned himself to bachelorhood. " Ma, sooner or later, there comes a point in a man's life when he's gotta face some facts. And one fact I gotta face is that, whatever it is that women like... I ain't got it. " After being harassed by his mother into going to the Stardust Ballroom one Saturday night, Marty connects with Clara—a plain school teacher who has been nastily abandoned by her blind date. Spending the evening together, Clara and Marty realize their emotional connection. The two part with Marty's promise to call the next day. Fearing the romance could spell her abandonment, Marty's mother belittles Clara. Likewise, Marty's friends are unimpressed because of her plainness, and try to convince Marty to forget about her. Harangued into submission, Marty doesn't call Clara. Back in the same lonely rut, Marty realizes that he is giving up a chance at love with a wonderful woman. Over the objections of his friends, he impulsively dashes to a phone booth to give Clara a call. When his friend Angie asks what he's doing, Marty bursts out saying: " You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog and I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees and I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party on New Year's, I got a date for that party. You don't like her? That's too bad! Hey Ang, when are you going to get married? " [edit] Reception Upon release, the film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. Ronald Holloway of Variety wrote, "If Marty is an example of the type of material that can be gleaned, then studio story editors better spend more time at home looking at television." Time described the film as "wonderful". Louella Parsons enjoyed the film, although she felt that it would not likely be nominated for Oscars. At a budget of $343,000, the film generated revenues of $3,000,000 in the USA alone, making it a box office success. Currently on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received a full fresh rating of 100%, based on 28 reviews.