Stuck as the last of six children at home with an overbearing Italian mother, the only child still unmarried, 34 year old socially awkward Bronx butcher Marty faces middle age with no prospects of marriage, and he faces permanent bachelorhood. But when he is goaded by his mother into going to the Stardust Ballroom one Saturday night, Marty unexpectedly meets Clara, a lonely teacher. Suddenly, Marty's future seems bright. Written by
I have known, loved and seen this film many times in the past fifteen years and finally bought it recently on DVD in the UK. The story is timeless and I am very surprised that no-one has yet attempted a plausible re-make of it. Stangely made in black and white ( for economic reasons I suppose, as color was widespread enough in 1954 ), the film depicts the horrors of trying to find a soul-mate with family pressures on hand to boot. No doubt italo-Americans will appreciate even more. I found Betsy Blair extremely attractive although she is supposed to be portraying someone "ugly" - the subject is fascinating and endlessly complex as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The general impression given was one of a depiction of a real-life situation, which is of course to the credit of the film !! I remained hungry at the end and would have liked the film to continue just a little more to show the genesis of their amorous relationship !! But some would argue that at the end of a film you should be left wanting for more .......... I also loved the theme music which is actually sung at the end over the credits where they show the name of the actor plus a view of the actor from the film - this is a technique used all too little nowadays - and this absence is most regrettable as it enabled you to put a face to a name !! I was both surprised and amused that in the 1950's, ugly people were referred to as "dogs" - sounds so funny now - but I think the word "squares" or "cornballs" was also used disparagingly !! Definitely a most original film and which (exceptionally) seems to have attracted a unanimity of positive reviews on IMDb !!
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