Marty (1955) Film Review


Marty (Ernest Borgnine) is a 34-year-old butcher plagued by his singledom. His mother, his customers, his friends all ask whether he is ashamed to be single, with his younger brothers married and happy. One night, despite his reluctance, he goes to the dance hall where he meets Clara (Clara), a teacher who has been abandoned by her blind date because she is such a ‘dog’ (as he keeps reminding her).

The basic story is quite nice; unhappy single man hassled by all around him ends up finding love by lowering his standards. Oops, did I mean that? The fact is that Clara was very pretty, but a little quiet and shy. But Marty is so annoying. At the start, I felt sorry for him, searching desperately for love but never finding the right one. Then he started talking to Clara, and he drove me nuts.

I wonder about other films of the time – Marty was very much about Italian-American families in contemporary, urban life.

Marty won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ernest Borgnine), Best Director (Delbert Mann) and Best Writing, Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky) and nominated for Oscars for Best Actor is a Supporting Role (Joe Mantell), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Betsy Blair), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White and Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Black-and-White.