Marty (1955)



Critic Consensus: Scriptwriter Paddy Chayefsky's solid dialogue is bolstered by strong performances from Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair in this appealingly low-key character study.

Movie Info

In this film, Ernest Borgnine stars as a lonely, kind-hearted Bronx bachelor who works as a butcher and still lives with his widowed mother. Marty meets an unattractive teacher named Clara whose own dull life is a mirror image of his; together, these two lonely people find romance.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Paddy Chayefsky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 19, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


as Clara

as Angie

as Mrs. Piletti

as Virginia

as Thomas

as Catherine

as Lou, Bartender

as Mrs. Rosari

as Mr. Snyder
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Marty

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

Ernest Borgnine as Marty lives up to all the promise he showed as the sadist in From Here to Eternity, and at the same time brilliantly shatters the type-cast he molded for himself in that picture.

Full Review… | February 18, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It's a warm, human, sometimes sentimental and an enjoyable experience.

Full Review… | February 19, 2008
Top Critic

Paddy Chayevsky's script, adapted from his own TV play, shows his flair for dialogue at its best, and the film manages to be touching, if minor.

Full Review… | December 12, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It does have doggy charm and a certain perceptiveness.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A warm and winning film, full of the sort of candid comment on plain, drab people that seldom reaches the screen.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audiences used to seeing Borgnine in more menacing roles in films such as From Here to Eternity and Bad Day at Black Rock warmed to his sympathetic portrayal of the Bronx butcher with low self-esteem.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Marty

A lonely bachelor, socially tortured for being single, falls for a schoolteacher he meets at a dance hall.
Ernest Borgnine, insecurities fully on display, gives a lovely, vulnerable performance in the titular role in this warm, positive film. The plot is fairly simple, but the film is tightly written and directed with no wasted time.
I think what I enjoyed most about the film was Paddy Chayefsky's script. In my younger days, I had conversations with delightful young ladies that lasted the whole night, and while I can never remember what we talked about, I can often remember the feeling of connection and the joy of talking. Chayefsky's scenes in which Marty and Clara are meeting for the first time and getting to know each other seem natural and sweet, and he captures that feeling of connection in way that is true without sacrificing the need to keep the conversation interesting for the audience. Perhaps Richard Linklater watched this film while writing his Before films.
Overall, this isn't a film that will set the world on fire, but it might warm a heart or two.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Marty is a wonderful film! The great screenplay of Paddy Chayefsky, makes the audience stay to see the simple life of the main character to the begining to the end. Ernest Borgnine as Marty is perfect. The best of hollywood. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Marty Pilletti is a shy and lonely 34 year-old Butcher from the Bronx who still lives at home with his mother, and has spent his entire life being awkward and uncomfortable around women.

His luck begins to change when he happens to meet a school teacher named Clara Snyder who immediately grabs his attention. She's just as shy, lonely, and unlucky with the opposite gender, and just as smitten with him as he is with her.

Despite a newfound feeling of happiness, Marty begins to second guess his feelings, espeically since it seems that none of his friends or family can seem to have anything nice to say about her. Ultimately though, Marty fidns the courage to stick to his conventions, knowing that he's really got nothing to lose.

Written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Delbert Mann, this is an utterly charming and heartwarming little film. It's simple, straight forward, and there's nothing at all wrong with that. You could draw comparisons to a newer film like The 40 Year-Old Virgin, and that's okay, but this is a far classier affair, with far subtler humor, to boot.

I really enjoyed this, but at the same time felt a little disappointed. Going into it, I was under the impression that I was supposed to be blown away by it, mostly because it won top honors at both the Oscars and Cannes, but, even though the film ended up not being as remarkable at anticipated, it's still a pretty solid piece of work.

Ernest Borgnine won an Oscar for his work here, and it truly is one of his standout roles, which is really saying something given his long, and varied career filled with some tremendous performances. Betsy Blair is also quite nice as Clara, but what really helps sell this film besides hte wonderful leads are the nice supporting turns from the colorful supporting cast that make up Marty's family and friends.

All in all, this is a wonderful film and, while it's not quite a masterpiece, it's nevertheless a really heartfelt movie with a lot to offer.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Marty Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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