Delbert Mann’s Marty (1955) is a sweetheart of a movie. It's also an oddity in Academy Award history: the first and only time a movie based on a popular television series has won Best Picture. The film stars Ernest Borgnine as the title character. Marty Piletti is a lonely and shy butcher who finds unlikely romance with wallflower, Clara Snyder (Betsy Blair).
Theirs is a quiet unassuming romance built on mutual respect. Not that any of Marty’s fair weather friends would notice. The film sets up a premise for unrequited romance that may or may not be able to survive the onslaught of a culture driven by what it sees rather than what is the genuine measure of a person beneath the surface.
Esther Minciotti costars as Marty’s well intentioned mother. Her concern over Marty’s seemingly doomed bachelorhood is quite poignant and comical, referring to girls as “tomatoes” and suggesting that her son “pluck one” that is ripe at a local dance. Joe Mantell and Jerry Paris costar as Marty’s well-meaning friends who inadvertently convince Marty into dropping Betsy because she isn’t attractive enough.
MGM DVD presents Marty in an adequate full frame transfer. The B&W picture exhibits a relatively solid and stable gray scale. Contrast levels are just barely adequate. Film grain is a bit heavy at times. The audio is mono but adequate for this primarily dialogue driven narrative. There are no extras.
FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)