Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1955: Marty

Poor Marty.  He's 34 years old, not very attractive, and all his brothers and sisters are married.  Everyone says, "Aren't you ashamed of yourself?  When are you going to get married?"  Then he meets Clara, who has just been unceremoniously dumped by a blind date, and they start talking.  He really likes her, but now everyone who was begging him to get married suddenly wants him to stay single.

This is the shortest Best Picture winner ever, and in my opinion it's the perfect length.  It tells a story, it makes a statement, and it doesn't spend a half hour showing people eating popcorn at the circus (okay, so I still haven't gotten over The Greatest Show on Earth...I don't know if I ever will).  I really liked this film because it's about normal people facing normal problems, but it never gets boring.  Ernest Borgnine is wonderful as the friendly, down-to-earth title character, which is ironic because two films ago I just saw him as the evil stockade sergeant beating up Frank Sinatra.  Borgnine definitely deserved his Best Actor Oscar for this role because he played it spectacularly.  I cannot picture Marty being played by anyone else.

It also makes me really happy that this film won Best Picture because it's not super profound, or super long, but it's still thought-provoking and entertaining.  I haven't come across too many films as simple and well-made as this one.  In short, this is one of the movies I hadn't seen before that make me really glad I decided to watch the Best Picture winners.

The next film on the list is Around the World in 80 Days, which is three hours long (maybe they were trying to make up for this film only being an hour and a half)

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