Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy
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.