All Dressed-Up and No Where to Go
"What do you feel like doing tonight?" "I don't know Angie, what do you feel like doing." "We're back to that huh? I say to you 'what do you feel like doing tonight?' and you say back to me, 'I dunno . . . then we wind up sitting around your house with a couple of cans of beer watching the Hit Parade on television."
Anyone who's ever watched the movie "Marty" will no doubt recognize this marry-go-round exchange between the main character, Marty Piletti, and his pesky best friend Angie. These two middle-aged bachelors are always searching for "Miss. Right" but never quite know where to look.
We Ain't Such Dogs
Marty is a 34 year-old overweight butcher who lives in the Bronx with his widowed elderly mother. All of Marty's brothers and sisters are married, and there is nothing Mrs. Piletti would love more than for her son Marty to meet a "nice Italian girl" and get married.
For Marty, that's easier said than done as he believes he's a "fat ugly man" and says "whatever it is that women like, I ain't got it." But an interesting turn of events places him in the right place at the right time and Marty meets Clara, a 29 year-old spinster who was just ditched by her blind date. While slow dancing, Marty delivers a line that has to be at the top of the list of what not to say to someone you've just met, or ever! Marty tells Clara "See, dogs like us, we ain't such dogs as we think we are."
She's a Dog and I'm a Fat Ugly Man
After meeting at a dance hall/ballroom, Marty and Clara go out for a cup of coffee and talk. Marty is amazed at how easily he can talk to Clara and is babbling on and on about his life while Clara smiles, nods her head and gets a few words in here and there.
Later that evening while escorting Clara home, Marty asks her if they could stop by his home to pick-up a pack of cigarettes and she agrees. When they arrive at Marty's home, his mother is not yet back from a visit with her sister who rants "It's a curse to be a widow!" She also tells Marty's mother that she too will be all alone when Marty finds a wife. After that pleasant conversation, Mrs. Piletti finds Marty home alone with this "college girl" who is, as her sister says, "One step from the street!" (as in streetwalker), and to make things worse, Clara is not Italian.
Later, as Marty is walking Clara home he sees his best friend Angie who's upset because he's been looking for Marty all night. When Marty introduces Clara to Angie, he's not impressed.
The next day, Marty gets an earful from his Mother and from Angie, who because of their own issues and insecurities both dislike Clara, although they don't know her. When Marty tells Angie he plans on calling Clara for a date, Angie tries to talk him out of it, saying she's a "dog" and he doesn't like her. To which Marty replies "You don't like her, my mother don't like her. She's a dog and I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees. I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me! If we make a party on New Year's, I got a date for that party. You don't like her? That's too bad."
A Gentle and Good Hearted Person
The above synopsis is a simplified version of the movie which has many interesting characters and a wonderfully romantic storyline. It was filmed in black and white which adds to its charm.
The first time I watched this movie was on television when I was a teenager, around 17. I remember being so touched by the characters of Marty and Clara and thinking "I want to meet someone like Marty!"
Although Marty describes himself as a "fat, ugly man," in actuality, his kindness, good character, and respect for mankind make him appealing. You just know that if he and Clara get married he's going to be the most gentle and good hearted husband who would never think of cheating on his wife. I'll take that over a self-absorbed, arrogant, and physically handsome man any day.
And The Oscar Goes to...Marty
The story of Marty was adapted from a 1953 teleplay which was first telecast live on The Goodyear Television Playhouse. The stars of the play were Rod Steiger as Marty and Nancy Marchand as Clara. This television drama was honored in 1963 when the Museum of Modern Art chose to highlight it as part of their series on the best in American television. Three of the original television cast members chose to reprise their roles in the move, but the lead characters of Marty and Clara were recast with Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair.
Marty won the Oscar in 1955 for Best Movie and Actor. Marty also earned the Best Screenplay Oscar for Paddy Chayefsky and the Best Director Award for Delbert Mann. Interestingly, this was Mann’s debut as a director and the movie was the shortest film to win the Best Picture award at just 91 minutes. The movie also won the Palme d'or Award at the Cannes Films Festival.
An Ordinary Love Story
In a book, Paddy Chayefsky said"I set out in Marty to write a love story, the most ordinary love story in the world. I didn't want my hero to be handsome, and I didn't want the girl to be pretty. I wanted to write a love story the way it would literally have happened to the kind of people I know..." 
Marty not only lived up to Chayefsky's vision, but it has also withstood the test of time. To this day, it remains one of my favorite movies, romantic or non-romantic. Marty is a must see for anyone who loves a good old fashioned sentimental love story. That's my favorite movie ~ Marty.
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