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
The opening scene shows men in a bar in the middle of the afternoon. One patron says that the Yankees won both games of a double header that day. However, even in the 1950s games took about 2.5 hours to play so it is unlikely that a double header would have been finished by mid-afternoon when the scene is set. See more »
So I'm an old garbage bag put in the street, huh?... These are the worst years, I tell you. It's going to happen to you. I'm afraid to look in a mirror. I'm afraid I'm gonna see an old lady with white hair, just like the old ladies in the park with little bundles and black shawls waiting for the coffin. I'm fifty-six years old. And what am I gonna do with myself? I've got strength in my hands. I want to clean. I want to cook. I want to make dinner for my children. Am I an old dog to lay near ...
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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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