In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the ... See full summary »
Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ... See full summary »
A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet,... See full summary »
Marty is a 34-year-old butcher whose Italian family is constantly after him to get married. He meets plain-looking schoolteacher Clara. They are both lonely, unglamorous people who have resigned themselves to their unloved lives. But they manage, in time, to grope their way to love. Written by
The character of Leo, who appears in the back of the car when Marty is approached by his friends to make up the pair for the "odd squirrel" they have with them. According to Delbert Mann, Chayefsky (who was once a moderately renowned stage actor) was recruited for the very visually obscured part solely to save the time and money of hiring an extra. According to Chayefsky, for his three lines he was required to rejoin the actor's union, which required dues of $140. He recalled the role as paying about $67. See more »
When Virginia and her husband are arguing about her mother-in-law, her hair is extremely disheveled and sweat-matted. After she puts her baby in the crib, she is shown to have perfectly styled and dry hair moments later. See more »
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 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.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?