Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Marty (1955)

Starring Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair & Joe Mantell

Rating 5/10

 He’s an ‘old’ (34 years old) man without a wife. A butcher by trade but no family. In the 50’s this was akin to a sin. What was wrong with the man? Couldn’t find a wife? Unheard of!

Marty (Borgnine) still lives with his heavily Catholic mother, Theresa, (Esther Minciotti) in the Bronx. After being forced to attend a ball, lo’ and behold our Marty meets a shy but lovely school teacher, Clara (Blair) who is crying after being dumped by her date. Good ole Marty scoops her out of her misery and takes her for a night on the town. They share their deepest struggles including a surprising admission by Marty that, “I cry a lot too. I’m a big crier…I cry all the time.” Very unmanly for the time.

Meanwhile, Marty’s aunt Catherine is causing all kinds of chaos as she plays heavy-handed grandma to her son’s family. They have had it and begs Marty’s mum to take her in! Eventually she does and starts planting fear in Theresa’s heart about the possibilities of Marty leaving and her subsequent loneliness.

At the end of Clara and Marty’s night, he encourages her to cut ties with her family and embrace independence, something he himself hasn’t achieved. In the end his insecure mother tries to turn Marty against Clara for her own gain and temporarily succeeds. In the end he realises how manipulative and judgemental his friends and his family are and how lonely he is. He runs to Clara and then… the movie ends. Did she take him back or… NOT!? I think yes but that’s the romantic in me.

This film is all about the role of mothers in families. When and how to cut that cord, the dramas and conflicts between mothers and sons, husbands and wives and the expectation of society on individuals. Loneliness drives these characters together, a bond that ultimately brings about what they have been searching for; love and companionship. Happy days.

Marty Trivia:

  • Budget – $343,000 only! And grossed over $3 Million. Top dollar!!
  • This was the first American film to be screened in Moscow since World War II
  • Director Delbert Mann was the first debut director to win Best Picture! Fluke or talent?
  • Our Burt Lancaster co-produced the film reportedly believing it would be a good tax write-off, not a great film.
  • Ernest Borgnine has Robert Aldrich to thank for his career after advising Delbert Mann to hire him.
  • Marty & The Lost Weekend are the only 2 films to win the top gongs at the Cannes Festival and the Oscars.
  • Some have said that this film is the most profitable of all time, take that Lancaster!
Next time on Oscar dela Club we are checking out 1956’s version of Around the World in 80 Days starring David Niven, Mario Moreno and Shirley MacLaine.
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One comment on “Best Picture – Marty (1955)

  1. Pingback: The stars on Break Stars » Blog Archive » Sara Rue

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