Stuck as the last of six children at home with an overbearing Italian mother, the only child still unmarried, 34 year old socially awkward Bronx butcher Marty faces middle age with no prospects of marriage, and he faces permanent bachelorhood. But when he is goaded by his mother into going to the Stardust Ballroom one Saturday night, Marty unexpectedly meets Clara, a lonely teacher. Suddenly, Marty's future seems bright.Written by
United Artists was willing to burn the film off as a second feature, but Paddy Chayefsky insisted it have some kind of first-run engagement, so it premiered at the Sutton Theatre in New York, normally a venue for art films. Hecht-Lancaster's New York publicity chief, Bernie Kamber, conducted a personal campaign for the film, setting up private screenings and convincing major press outlets to feature it positively. His biggest coup was getting influential columnist Walter Winchell to hail the film as one of the biggest sleepers in Hollywood history. The slow build in viewership began with strong reviews. Then the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes, generating more press and more box office. As a result, it played 39 weeks at the Sutton to mostly packed houses. For subsequent openings, United Artist scheduled two weeks of screenings in various markets for community leaders to generate positive word of mouth. The move paid off, for though the film could not compete with the major studios' big blockbusters, it made a small profit in its initial release. That was helped by its success at the Academy Awards®, which led United Artists to reissue it to 5,000 theatres. See more »
When Marty rushes into the street to hail a cab after taking Clara home, he ends up facing the camera on the near side of the street, waving for a taxi while facing away from the oncoming traffic. See more »
All my brothers and brothers-in-laws tell me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don't get to be good-hearted by accident. You get kicked around long enough, you become a professor of pain.
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When Marty drops off Clara at her home after their evening out, there is an additional 5-minute sequence where she visits her parents in their bedroom and discusses her date with Marty (included in the CBS FOX VHS and the 2014 Kino Lorber releases, but deleted from the MGM Vintage Classics VHS and DVD). See more »
I love movies of the 1950's and this is a prime example of the quality today's movies seem to lack.
Being Italian myself I can relate to Marty's situation. Marty's mother and aunt are aging widows and Italian families are extremely close. Sadly, Marty's mother any aunt are feeling old and useless and in many ways try to sabotage their son's happiness. This is sad but true speaking as a bachelor myself. At one point your mother asks you, when are you ever going to get married and when they are older they want to live with you because they too are lonely.
I found myself deeply moved by the decency of Marty and the young teacher he meets at a singles dance. These are truly special people that life has passed by, but not for long. They discover each other and Marty calls the girl in spite of the reservations of his mother and friends.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Marty and his young lady are the truly beautiful people in this poignant love story.
I would rate this movie 50 stars if I could.
Wonderful, funny at times and unforgettable.
A must see and a must have in any movie collection.
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