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Marty Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning slice-of-life drama originated as a live 1953 broadcast directed by Delbert Mann on The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse starring Rod Steiger and Nancy Marchand. The Hecht-Lancaster movie version, also directed by Mann, replaces the two leads with Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair (as well as featuring several soon-to-be-familiar faces, including Jerry Paris, Frank Sutton, and Karen Steele, plus Joe Mantell, Nehemiah Persoff, and Betsy Palmer from the TV version). But it remains otherwise intact, telling of 24 very important hours in the lives of two lonely people. Marty is a bittersweet, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always realistic comedy-drama about Marty Pilletti (Ernest Borgnine), a 34-year-old Bronx butcher. Approaching middle-age as a burly, somewhat overweight man who has no illusions about himself or his attractiveness to women, Marty looks forward to just one thing in life -- buying his boss's butcher shop and trying to make a success in business -- and he's even uncertain about that. A gentle, good-natured man, he lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti), a kind but emotionally smothering woman, in a too-large house and spends his time with a small circle of dead-end friends (Joe Mantell, Frank Sutton). One Friday night, Marty's mother convinces him to go to the Stardust Ballroom, where he meets a plain-looking schoolteacher named Clara (Betsy Blair), whose life appears to mirror his own -- she lives with her father, and is frightened about the one prospect she has for advancement in her job. Meeting her after witnessing a humiliating rejection by her blind date, Marty acts on his best impulses and asks Clara to dance, and soon they are actually enjoying each other's company. She is as drawn to him as he is to her, but both are so uncertain about putting themselves at risk emotionally, that the evening almost ends badly when he tries to kiss her -- but they agree to talk on the phone and go to a movie the next night. But whatever good feelings he has about Clara are soon threatened by his friends' put-downs of her, and his mother's hostility, driven by her sudden panic that if Marty marries, she'll be left living alone. Marty spends the next day alone and never does call Clara, seemingly having decided that it's best to leave well enough alone. That is, until he takes a good long look at his life, and a listen to his friends -- and he suddenly makes the decision to try for true happiness, wherever it leads. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

  • Release date:April 11, 1955

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Harold Hecht Best Picture 1955 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Priestley Best Black and White Art Direction 1955 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Betsy Blair Best Foreign Actress 1955 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Betsy Blair Best Supporting Actress 1955 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Ernest Borgnine Best Foreign Actor 1955 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Ernest Borgnine Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1955 Winner
National Board of Review Ernest Borgnine Best Actor 1955 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Borgnine Best Actor 1955 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Ernest Borgnine Best Actor 1955 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joe Mantell Best Supporting Actor 1955 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Paddy Chayefsky Best Screenplay 1955 Winner
Directors Guild of America Delbert Mann Best Director 1955 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Delbert Mann Best Director 1955 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Delbert Mann Best Film - Any Source 1955 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joseph La Shelle Best Black and White Cinematography 1955 Nominee

Cast

Ernest Borgnine
as Marty Pilletti
Betsy Blair
as Clara Snyder
Esther Minciotti
as Mrs. Pilletti
Augusta Ciolli
as Catherine
Joe Mantell
as Angie
Karen Steele
as Virginia
Jerry Paris
as Thomas
Frank Sutton
as Ralph
Walter Kelley
as The Kid
Robin Morse
as Joe
Silvio Minciotti
Joe de Santis
Minerva Urecal
as Mrs. Rosari
Nehemiah Persoff
Betsy Palmer
Charles Cane
as Lou, Bartender
John Milford
James Bell
as Mr. Snyder

Crew

Delbert Mann
Director
Burt Lancaster
Producer
Harold Hecht
Producer
Paddy Chayefsky
Screen Story
Paddy Chayefsky
Screenwriter
Joseph La Shelle
Cinematographer
Roy Webb
Composer (Music Score)
Alan Crosland, Jr.
Editor
Paddy Chayefsky
Associate Producer
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