Delbert Mann made this for TV, with Rod Steiger and it was so good they made it into a film. 4 Oscars later and the first ever Palm D’or at Cannes, its now on Blu ray for all to enjoy again. Meet Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine). Hes just a 34 year old Butcher from New York. Hes single and lives with his mother. This is his fear. One that sits on his shoulder like a nagging devil. He fears that he will always be alone. Then one day he meets a mild mannered teacher Clara (Betsy Blair). His fears of inadequacy wash over him. Some how though he might just overcome this and they may live happily ever after.
Oscar can get it right. Yes he can surely. Want an example? Well look at Marty. Its a simple tale, told with intimacy, economy and emotion. A film that exposes the fragility of masculinity but retains its feel good nature. Borgnine is raw, honest, often on the verge of tears but strong and sombre. Blair is vulnerable with a human empathy. Not sold? Well what about the behind the scenes talent? Written by an artist, Paddy Chayefsky and directed by a titan Delbert Mann. All these come together to make a work of art. The conquering of fear and isolation with love and connection. Its a stellar piece of cinema.
The 1080 presentation on the Blu Ray leaps over the DVD release which was better than the TV version but not by much. The extras on the disc are excellent. Neil Sinyard walks through Marty the film. Discussing the work of Mann and spending some time on Paddy Chayefsky writing. The teleplay looks a little degraded but its a testament to all concerned (including Borgnine who must have studied it). The real gem however is that interview of the TV versions cast. Steiger is funny and should have shaved but makes a great point about the differences.
DUAL FORMAT 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
- Original trailer presented by Burt Lancaster
- Marty (1953) 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)