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
United Artists was willing to burn the film off as a second feature, but Paddy Chayefsky insisted it have some kind of first-run engagement, so it premiered at the Sutton Theatre in New York, normally a venue for art films. Hecht-Lancaster's New York publicity chief, Bernie Kamber, conducted a personal campaign for the film, setting up private screenings and convincing major press outlets to feature it positively. His biggest coup was getting influential columnist Walter Winchell to hail the film as one of the biggest sleepers in Hollywood history. The slow build in viewership began with strong reviews. Then the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes, generating more press and more box office. As a result, it played 39 weeks at the Sutton to mostly packed houses. For subsequent openings, United Artist scheduled two weeks of screenings in various markets for community leaders to generate positive word of mouth. The move paid off, for though the film could not compete with the major studios' big blockbusters, it made a small profit in its initial release. That was helped by its success at the Academy Awards®, which led United Artists to reissue it to 5,000 theatres. 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 »
The only reason I gave this movie nine stars instead of ten is that it ended too soon!
It is hard to find a single thing wrong with this film. Stretching the imagination, one could call some of the attitudes "dated". (For example, the mothers think college girls are "one step from the street", during an era in which wives were still expected to be stay-at-home moms.) But still, this remains almost the perfect film for the group of viewers who appreciate heart- warming stories. (It will probably leave the "Rambo" crowd cold.)
I usually judge the success of a film by the "squirm factor"; if I am sorry to see the film end, I know I've watched a good film. By this standard, Marty is a superb film in every way. We really do care what happens after the credits roll.
See this film!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this