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
Film historians have credited this film with demonstrating the viability of low budget, independently-produced films in the United States and with the proliferation of such films. Studio executives were well aware that low budget, independent, and realistic films had been successful in Europe for many years, but most studios were skeptical that such successes would occur in the United States. Marty's profitable returns and critical acclaim demonstrated that low budget productions with lesser-known casts could be remunerative in the United States and could compete with European art-house productions on an artistic level. The film cemented United Artists' reputation as a haven for daring, independent producers, and inspired rival studios such as MGM and 20th Century Fox to delve into a similar brand of film-making with some of their productions. See more »
In the opening scene in the butcher shop, Marty is shown facing the camera and using a knife to cut between the bones of a roast (to make chops). He does not finish cutting all of the chops, but sets his knife down on the ledge of the counter to his right (our left). In the next shot, from the reverse angle (that is, with Marty's back to the camera), Marty again has the knife in his hand, and is cutting through the remainder of the roast. After he has finished cutting, he takes up a meat cleaver to complete the task of making chops. See more »
Listen Angie, I been looking for a girl every Saturday night of my life. I'm 34 years old. I'm just tired of looking, that's all. I like to find a girl. Everybody's always telling me get married, get married, get married. Don't you think I wanna get married? I wanna get married. Everybody drives me crazy.
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When Marty drops off Clara at her home after their evening out, there is an additional 5-minute sequence where she visits her parents in their bedroom and discusses her date with Marty (included in the CBS FOX VHS and the 2014 Kino Lorber releases, but deleted from the MGM Vintage Classics VHS and DVD). See more »
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 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
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