Review: Marty

Blu-ray and DVD: Marty (1955)

Hard working and good natured butcher Marty Piletti (the wonderful Ernest Borgnine) is 34 and unmarried. This seems to cause great concern to his family, and especially his quintessentially Italian immigrant mother (Esther Minciotti).

Marty’s life trundles on; he meets his also single friends after work, and at weekends they seek female company…usually at a dance hall. He is harassed by his mother about his lack of a wife, and he dreams of owning the butchers shop he works at and becomes resolved to stay a bachelor, because he’s too ugly to find a woman.

Released in 1955, this is similar in a way to how different ‘On the Town’ was, filming on the streets of New York, but mainly for its unusual content. This is a story of ordinary and forgotten people; ‘unattractive’ and lonely. Where Douglas Sirk gave us hyper drama, Marty has all the feels, but is also a film full of realistic longing that resonates even now.

Marty goes to a dance hall with his single friend, there he meets Clara (Betsy Blair), who has been cruelly abandoned by her blind date and Marty asks her to dance. Over the span of a night they grow to like each other, and promise to see each other again.

I don’t want to give the plot away, but of course the path of love doesn’t always run smoothly.

Marty is such a beautiful film, that is as relevant today, in a time where ‘selfies’ are the norm (I can never get over people pointing cameras at themselves, it is and will always remain a puzzle to me) and so is self-obsession. Despite the lack of technology times haven’t changed, and even in 1955 you had to be beautiful above all else in order to get yourself a partner.

Apart from getting a wonderful film, this package from Eureka has one of the best extras I’ve seen: the original teleplay starring Rod Steiger as Marty, condensed but still word-for-word this is a wonderful addition and makes for equally fantastic viewing, mainly because this versions Clara is not as attractive as the films Clara, making their longing for each other more poignant.

An absolutely beautiful film, that’s a must buy of classic cinema.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD
  • Uncompressed LPCM audio (on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • A new video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard
  • Marty (51 mins) – The original teleplay broadcast on NBC in 1953, also directed by Delbert Mann and starring Rod Steiger in the title role
  • Archival interviews with Delbert Mann and the cast of the original teleplay (Rod Steiger, Nancy Marchand and Betsy Palmer)
  • Original theatrical trailer presented by Burt Lancaster

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Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Eureka Entertainment.