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Monday, November 26, 2018

Marty (1953)

At 36 years of age, a homely overweight butcher (Rod Steiger) still lives at home with his mother (Esther Minciotti). She constantly nags him that it's time he got married. But he's been rejected so many times, he's given up. Written by Paddy Chayefsky (NETWORK) and directed by Delbert Mann (SEPARATE TABLES). Originally done for and performed live on TV in 1953, it was so successful that two years later, it was turned into an Oscar winning film with Ernest Borgnine replacing Steiger. The narrative is simplicity itself and Steiger's touching performance is the cornerstone of the production. Steiger often gets accused (and justifiably so) for his over the top histrionics but here, he shows what a powerful actor he can be when restrained. It's refreshing to see a real love story with real people instead of beautiful actor types and one can only imagine the impact it had in 1953. With Nancy Marchand, Betsy Palmer, Nehemiah Persoff, Lee Philips, Joe Mantell, Don Gordon and George Maharis.  

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