Marty / Only The Lonely


D: Delbert Mann

United Artists (Harold Hecht)

US 1955

91 mins


W: Paddy Chayefsky [based on his television play]

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.


Betsy Blair & Ernest Borgnine in Marty
Betsy Blair & Ernest Borgnine in Marty

Before he can tie the knot, he has to untie the apron strings
Before he can tie the knot, he has to untie the apron strings


D: Chris Columbus
20th Century Fox (John Hughes & Hunt Lowry)
US 1991
104 mins
W: Chris Columbus
DP: Julio Macat
Ed: Raja Gosnell
Mus: Maurice Jarre 
John Candy (Danny Muldoon), Maureen O'Hara (Rose Muldoon), Ally Sheedy (Theresa Luna), Anthony Quinn (Nick Acropolis), James Belushi (Sal Buonarte)

Sitcom-stuff romance and a loose remake of 1955's Best Picture winner Marty, starring John Candy as an affable, heavy-set police officer who falls in love with a shy beautician and hides the relationship from his domineering mother, herself the object of affection from an amorous Greek neighbour.

Entertaining enough for its duration, with competent         performances from the lead actor and love interest, but it's more notable for a return to the screen for actress Maureen O'Hara after a long hiatus. Everyone involved is capable of much better work though, and this is merely time-filler fluff.


John Candy & Ally Sheedy in Only The Lonely
John Candy & Ally Sheedy in Only The Lonely