Sunday, 24 June 2012


Marty, 1955
Directed by Delbert Mann
Nominated for 8 Oscars, Won 4
Up Against: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Mister Roberts, Picnic and The Rose Tattoo

Marty is a unique film. The movie is based upon a "teleplay" also called Marty, and is one of only two films to win both the Palm d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, and Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Marty is the story of a 34-year old man named, well, Marty. He still lives with his mother. He comes from a big family, with many brothers and sister, and all of them are married. So Marty certainly feels pressure to find a girl. However as he himself puts it, "I'm a fat and ugly old man". When his cousin and his wife come over to convince Marty's mother to ask her sister to come live with her (she is making life very hard for Marty's cousins wife), his cousin says Marty should go to the Stardust ballroom as there are tons of "tomatoes" there. Marty gets upset when his mother tells him to go because he's been hurt by women dozens of times before, and has never found a girl there before, but would go just to make his mother happy, telling her the night would endure tons of heartache. But, of course, he meets a girl. She's come with a blind date who's not interested in her, and he tries to blow her off. Marty comforts her, and the two have a nice evening together. However, as the next day comes, it comes out most of the people he knows don't like her because she's not that attractive and Marty "could do better".

In this day and age, where we hear about Hollywood's obsession with marriage, love, sex, dating, we forget that there are tons of people who are "older" that haven't found love and gotten married. No, I'm not quite talking about George Clooney here. That's a different story. We see it all the time, even if we don't like to look or don't recognize it. Not everyone finds love, and that's something hard to deal with. People ignore that fact that some people just don't ever find love.

But the story of Marty is that he did find love. He found it in a girl that his friends said wasn't attractive and that Marty could do way better than her. There's a scene right near the end of the film, the day after Marty meets Clara, and he's sitting around the house with 3 friends. One of them is looking at a "girlie" magazine (if you know what I mean), and the others interrogating him about Clara. Whether they're jealous of Marty finding a girl while they're all still single, they try to convince him not to call her. They're surprised when Marty says he "didn't try anything" and that they just talked. One replied that she must've been a good talker since he looks to be about 40 years old. The other, still looking at his girlie magazine, starts saying that he wished he knew where he could find girls like these. And, for some reason, Marty buys into it. He doesn't call Clara like he said he would. Though eventually realizes she's someone who makes him happy.

I think that's a very interesting look, and is something that is so wrong with our society today. Just because a woman isn't like the girls in those "girlie" magazines (or well, other mediums, today) it means they aren't worth anything. Marty's friends hardly knew her, didn't really speak to her, they only saw her. And that's something that seems to be so wrong with society today. I could go on and on about the objectification of women, how so many men seemed to be so focused on physical beauty, and how that is probably why divorce rates are so high, but I'm sure you get the picture. Marty is a glimmering hope in cinema that tells the story about a man who finds a woman who makes him happy. She's nice, and funny, they had great laughs together and talked all night long. And just because she wasn't "pretty" didn't make her less of a woman in Marty's eyes, and that's something so valuable in him. What we can learn from Marty is that beauty is definitely not everything. Some of the most gorgeous people can also be the worlds worst people, the most unintelligent, and the most vain.

However, enough with the moral lessons on this movie (I could talk about it for so long, I think I'm starting to become an advocate for how woman are more than their bodies and their looks, and society is ruining itself by focusing on it). I found the movie to be quite short, and felt it could probably have gone on a little longer. It's the shortest running Best Picture winner at only 1hr and 30 minutes. Ernest Borgnine was great as Marty. He was socially awkward, and desperate, and very unconventional. Sometimes he was just so hard to watch and listen to, but he nailed it in such a good way. There's not a whole lot else to brag about for this movie. Not that it was bad, but because there wasn't too much in the way of Art Direction, Costumes, Score, etc. The acting was fine, and the screenplay was good. The storyline involving Marty's cousin and wife, with their terror of a mother, and Marty's mother invited the mother (her sister) to stay with her was a little unnecessary and quirky, but overall the film was a good one. It's not a story people like to tell, so it's often not told. It's not a cute romance like The Notebook, it's a real one, and it's awkward and quirky, but that's life isn't it?

Acting- 8/10 
Directing- 7/10 
Screenplay- 8/10 
Visuals- 7/10 

Music- 7/10 Emotional Connection- 8/10 
Entertainment- 8.5/10 
Rewatchability- 8/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 8.5/10 

Overall Package- 7.5/10     
Total: 77.5/100

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