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Ernest Borgnine won an Academy Award for Best Actor in the title role as Marty, for his from-the-heart performance as the bachelor who is convinced that love isn’t in the cards for him. But after meeting Clara (Betsy Blair), the Plain Jane school teacher whose date abandoned her at the Stardust Ballroom, the two bond as kindred spirits of the lonely-hearts club. Marty must decide if his happiness is more important than his jealous friends, or his mother’s low opinion of Clara – born out of fear of losing her son’s companionship and attention. Marty won additional Academy Awards for Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay and Best Picture, with director Delbert Mann patiently guiding the film into a relatable working-class romance. It seems improbable that an era existed where a film about a Brooklyn butcher who lives with his mother, openly shares his struggles about his physical insecurities, loneliness, and wears his inability to find love on his sleeve – who isn’t a serial killer – could not only be made, but shift Hollywood’s attention to smaller dramas and away from the big budget flash and fandango of the day… and yet Marty is such a movie.

“It’s a warm, human, sometimes sentimental and an enjoyable experience.” – Ronald Holloway, Variety

“A warm and winning film, full of the sort of candid comment on plain, drab people that seldom reaches the screen.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

Delbert Mann
Paddy Chayefsky
Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli, Joe Mantell, Karen Steele, Jerry Paris
Running Time
90 minutes

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