Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Marty (1955)

One of the first feature-length films to be based on a television play, Ernest Borgnine stars as the title character in this bittersweet romantic tale. Marty is a sympathetic character, a single butcher living in the Bronx, confronting lonliness, peer pressure, and the desire to experience a loving relationship.

The character was a shift for Borgnine who played a ruthless character in From Here to Eternity (1953) a few years earlier. Borgnine enjoyed a strong career in film with leading and supporting roles. He became well-known with television audiences in the 1960s as Lt. Commander McHale in the comedy series McHale's Navy.

The film is based on the teleplay "Marty" written by Paddy Chayefsky, who also wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by Delbert Mann and starred Betsy Blair as Clara -- Marty's love interest. The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Writer -- in addition to be nominated in several other categories.

The television play, which aired in 1952 on Goodyear Television Playhouse, was also directed by Delbert Mann and starred Rod Steiger in the title role.

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