D: Delbert Mann
United Artists (Harold Hecht)
W: Paddy Chayefsky [based on his television
DP: Joseph LaSchelle
Ed: Alan Crosland, Jr.
Mus: Roy Webb
Ernest Borgnine (Marty Piletti), Betsy
Blair (Clara), Esther Minciotti (Mrs. Piletti), Joe Mantell (Angie), Augusta Ciolli (Aunt Catherine)
At a mere 91 minutes, this 1955 Best Picture winner still
holds the record for being the shortest film to win the Oscars biggest prize.
It's a simple story, adapted from a 1953 television play of
the same name also penned by Paddy Chayefsky, telling the story of Marty Piletti, an Italian-American butcher from the Bronx who goes out on Saturday nights looking for love with his best friend,
Angie. By chance, he meets Clara, a plain school teacher who his friends and overbearing mother don't seem to like, but all Marty wants is his own happiness.
Though certain elements are dated, the central "love conquers
all" theme still stands the test of time and the film began a trend for material originally written for television received a Hollywood makeover. The plot was recycled for 1991 rom-com Only The
Lonely, but Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair make a far better couple than John Candy and Ally Sheedy.