7 user 4 critic
Marty Pilletti is a 36 year-old butcher who lives with his mother. His brothers and sisters are all married and his dear mother - along with several other of her friends - is always asking ... See full summary »


Delbert Mann


Paddy Chayefsky




Episode credited cast:
Rod Steiger ... Marty Pilletti
Nancy Marchand ... Clara - The Girl
Esther Minciotti ... Mrs. Pilletti - Mother
Joe Mantell ... Angie
Augusta Ciolli Augusta Ciolli ... Aunt Catherine
Betsy Palmer ... Virginia
Lee Philips ... Tommy
Rossana San Marco Rossana San Marco ... Woman
Nehemiah Persoff ... The Critic
Howard Caine ... The Bartender
Don Gordon ... Young Man
Andrew Gerardo Andrew Gerardo ... Patsy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rachel Maiori Rachel Maiori ... Short Girl
Mary Ann Reeves Mary Ann Reeves ... Girl


Marty Pilletti is a 36 year-old butcher who lives with his mother. His brothers and sisters are all married and his dear mother - along with several other of her friends - is always asking him why he doesn't find a nice girl and get married. The truth is Marty is lonely and would like nothing better. He has very low self-esteem however and admits to his mother that he's ugly and no one wants him. He's tired of going to the Saturday night dance with his buddies and then going home more depressed than he was when the evening started. At one of those dances he meets Clara. They have a great deal in common but Marty will have to overcome peer pressure if he and Clara are to have a relationship. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Did You Know?


First teleplay to be made into an Oscar-winning movie. See more »


Featured in Television: The First Fifty Years (1999) See more »

User Reviews

Quite possibly the best thing TV had to offer in the 1950s.
4 November 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I have always thought that this was an amazing teleplay and movie, but watching the introduction to "Marty" on the recent DVD release gave me even more reason to love it. Surprisingly, while the dialog is so realistic and marvelous, the teleplay wasn't even finished by Paddy Chavevsky until after rehearsals started!! Yet, despite this, it's considered by many to be an American classic.

"Marty" was a live TV play--quite common in the 1950s but unthinkable today. Imagine, each week you might have half a dozen made for TV events that were performed live on various networks. Shows such as "Playhouse 90", "Westinghouse Theatre" and "The Philco-GOodyear Television Playhouse" made television exciting--much of it because at that time the best talent was no longer in Hollywood but in New York working on television! As a result of so many brilliant teleplays, many of them went on to become blockbuster movies--and in the case of "Marty", it won Oscars for Best Picture as well as Best Actor (Ernest Borgnine).

Here in the original version, Rod Steiger gives a marvelous performance as the title character. "Marty" is an unflinching look at a nice but not particularly attractive bachelor who is tired of the rejection and is resigning himself to a life alone. Your heart really breaks for the simple guy, as he is very decent and would make a devoted husband...IF women would just give him a chance. But, at age 36, his chances are dwindling fast. His mother won't admit it, but the film finds Marty coming to this knowledge. The scene between the two of them in the kitchen discussing this is one of the greatest and saddest in TV history.

Fortunately, however, despite his sad life, Marty might just have a ray of hope in his life. He recently met an unattractive lady (Nancy Marchand) at the dance hall and the scene showing how they meet is pretty heart-rending. But, despite this, they hit it off and begin to forge, awkwardly, a relationship. But conspiring against them is Marty's mother (who has rather selfish motives) and Marty's obnoxious friend who calls her a 'dog'. Can Marty sort all this out and straighten out his sad life? Tune in and see.

I think what I love so much is the ordinariness of the characters. These are not handsome Hollywood-types, nor are their lives complex. These are just decent, hard-working New Yorkers of immigrant stock--people who seem ordinary but are so much more. A wonderful film from start to finish. Although it lacks the polish of the later movie and is too short at 51 minutes, it is a gem.

By the way, although Marty's 'friends' and mother comment on how old Marty's new girlfriend is, she is a lot younger than she looks. Marchand says she's 29, but is actually only 25--yet she does look about 40. I can really respect her for making herself so plain and playing such a tough part--and the same can be said for Steiger.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

24 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed