Monday, November 28, 2011
The simplistic style of Marty is common in modern cinema, but back in 1955 it was a rarity. The movie is in fact so understated that I sort of got lost in it and was genuinely shocked when it ended. It was such a surprise to see the guy meet the girl and then end with him calling her back. It's not that we don't know what the resolution will be, but rather it's that the resolution doesn't even occur. Pretty much unheard of in the old black and white romance dramas. Most of the credit for Marty goes to screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Network), whose keen understanding of people in challenging circumstances brings the movie a raw honesty with just enough sentimentality. The film is ultimately a feel-good story that's full of good messages and definitely for all ages. It really took flight upon its release, becoming the first film to win the Palm d'Or and the Best Picture Oscar in the same year (however, the competition was not great, 1955 being a pretty weak year for movies). But Marty isn't really talked about much today simply because there's nothing significant about it. If not for its awards success it would probably be forgotten. But gladly it's still around, and makes for as pleasant a surprise today as it did when it was first released.