"Marty" (1955) is the shortest film to win Best Picture at 90 minutes

At such a short length, the film perfectly captures loneliness and heartache.


1955 ‧ Drama film/Romance ‧ 1h 34m

  • 7.7/10 IMDb
  • 100% Rotten Tomatoes

This acclaimed romantic drama follows the life of Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine), a stout bachelor butcher who lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti) in the Bronx. Always unlucky in love, Marty reluctantly goes out to a ballroom one night and meets a nice teacher named Clara (Betsy Blair). Though Marty and Clara hit it off, his relatives discourage him from pursuing the relationship, and he must decide between his family’s approval or a shot at finding romance.
Initial release: April 11, 1955 (New York City)
Director: Delbert Mann
Screenplay: Paddy Chayefsky
Story by: Paddy Chayefsky
Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture

“Marty” has been fashioned into a sock picture. It’s a warm, human, sometimes sentimental and an enjoyable experience. Full review

Ronald Holloway
Enormously influential, it spawned Hollywood’s interest in smaller scale, prosaic dramas, few of which failed to match its resonance. Full review

William Thomas

clevername71: Can’t think about this movie without thinking about the movie “Quiz Show”.

NotSoCheezyReddit: The Emoji Movie is only 70 minutes so they’ll have to update this record soon. ^^^^/s

dicknixon2016: it’s funny that Paddy Chayefsky won an Oscar for writing this extremely earnest and lovely movie, and then for Network 20 years later

Typical_Humanoid: I love this film but my only problem with it is that I would’ve liked one or two more scenes of Marty and Clara together. After their first date ends we never see them together again. Isn’t that odd? It’s a pity because they had wonderful chemistry together.

But yeah, I really love it otherwise. My favorite romances tend to involve people who are outcasts in society, but they find acceptance and love in one another, and Marty is a beautiful, if brief, example of that. The scene where Marty, from afar, sees Clara’s date attempt to foist her onto another guy and Clara, clearly humiliated, runs outside afterwards actually made me tear up a bit. It was so sad. But fortunately it does end on a happier note. Not for Marty’s friend though, lol.

baxter300: Wow. Marty, Clara, 1955. I had no idea Robert Zemeckis had taken so many cues from one place for BTTF

RoidingOldMan: I have a story about this movie. It was showing at a theater near me maybe 6.5 years ago. It was a rare thing to see a movie this great at a theater and Ernest Borgnine was going to be there to give an introduction. So yeah, I was pretty jazzed about it (yes I said jazzed). It’s one of my favorite movies. I own it on DVD, and have for many years. I’m that kind of person. The theater it was showing at was the NW Film Center. Well anyway, I invited my mom to go (because 21 year old me invites his mom places, shut up). So we get there an hour early. An hour early. The line is around the block. They haven’t even started letting people in yet. The theater holds like 500 people, and we wait and wait and they let people in. We are the 3rd in line when they say the theater is full. So I guess at least we aren’t the 1st people to be rejected, but we’re right behind them.

Ernest Borgnine died like a month later. Missing that showing is honestly one of the most frustrating experiences of my entire life. I wanted to see it so badly and I missed it by 2 or 3 people. I really thought an hour early would be more than enough. Everything I’ve done since then has always been centered around “I should show up 5 minutes earlier than that.” Like “5 minutes early, I should be 5 minutes earlier than that. 10 minute early? I should be 5 minutes earlier than that. 15 minutes early, I should be 5 minutes earlier than that.” It’s been a great habit in a way, because I’ve never been late for work in 6 years.

My mom and I ended up walking around for about 20 minutes and ended up at another theater and saw “Undefeated” a documentary about a HS football team. Which is actually amazing and is a somehow already forgotten Oscar winning documentary. That movie being great really should have made up for it, but I’m still depressed I didn’t get to see Ernest Borgnine before he died.

CaptainBroverdose: Starring Ernest “Mermaid Man” Borgnine as Marty.

SalukiKnightX: The movie that won Borgnine his Oscar, and well deserved. I think he did the role on stage first and that’s how he got the role on screen.

szekeres81: Such a wonderful little movie. Borgnine is the man!

LizardOrgMember5: Also a Palme d’or winner at Cannes.

HoosierProud: Weird. 90 minutes isn’t even that short for a movie.

ReddJudicata: Apparently, it was shot in 16 days plus three for reshoots. Imagine that. Amazing what you can do with a strong script and actors.

SamsungVR_User: They made the movie after the teleplay was a success.

skonen_blades: Great movie. I love the reference it gets in Quiz Show as well. Underlines how treasured it was at the time. Top notch movie.

ExleyPearce: One of the most relatable movies of all time. Just feels so realistic, in terms of time, place, characters, dialogue and interactions. I love how you follow Marty’s journey and really feel and root for him even if he’s not the most extraordinary person ever.

brew1066: My favorite part is when his mother complains to her sister that she’s an old elderly lady in her 50’s.

SwannyWilkinson: I completely misread the title as the ‘shortest film to win best short picture at 90 minutes’. I got really confused trying to figure out how 90 minutes is considered short.

fritobugger: Ernie!

JasonAnarchy: I really love this style of trailer.

TheMagicStik: Not to be confused with “Martin” by George A Romero another old short movie on a low budget that deals with loneliness and heartache. Also very good.

TKInstinct: Here’s the whole film uploaded on YouTube.

elljawa: It was adapted from a 60 or so minute madr for tv drama with the same writer and director. I remember watching it for a film history class, its also pretty good

TheDragonDracul: Man the scene where Ernest Borgnine breaks down about being ugly to his mother hits me right in the heart.

Kuese02: I only remembered this movie because of the “Quiz show”. Ralph Fiennes was amazing.

Iremembermyfirstbeet: Punch Drunk Love is also 90 minutes, and also perfectly captures love, loneliness, and the like. It takes great talent to condense such a largess of emotion.

Marzian83: I understand Marty’s joy at finding someone who values him romantically. But consider the heartbreak of his mother. She aches because he doesn’t have a wife. But Clara is like the other young wife in the movie, doesn’t want to live with parents or in laws. Marty’s mother is likely going to live alone, the home she’s live in most of her life sold, or she’ll be miserable living in a house with her daughter-in-law who has very different ideas of what relationships with in laws should be like. It’s very sad.

wingzzz123: Marty is a fantastic movie. Touching and heartbreaking. I thought it held up amazingly well. I love how alive the streets are in the background.

MartyAndRick: Also, was it just me or “Marty” and “1955” immediately made you think about *Back to the Future*

aaaaah_ginger: My grandparents knew Paddy Chayefsky! Around the 40 minute mark there’s a reference to my grandma. The two older Irish woman are talking about a woman who if she has another baby it’ll kill her. The baby they’re talking about is my mother (it was obviously written before she was born). Also my Nan didn’t pass away while having her.

Unconscience: written by paddy chayefski, who went on to write on the best films of all time, network.

whygrendel: It is a really great movie. I’d recommend it to anyone.

guimontag: Thanks for the recommendation! Can’t wait to watch this on a movie night.

zedsdeadbby: I cried a little during the trailer.

Silvaski: Wasn’t this movie broadcast live or something I seem to remember?

NaughtyDreadz: Mharty!

mudk1p: [Welcome to the basement did a good episode about Marty.](

ky1e0: I thought 90 minutes was the average length for a movie

hatramroany: It’s also the only winner based on a TV show

DaddyCatALSO: A brilliant film, and to a guy like me, who watched a lot of 60s TV shows, and an amazing cast; LT Commander McHale, Sergeant Carter, Rob Petrie’s friend Jerry,and Twilight Zone’s “Nervous Man in a Four-dollar Room.”

Diller1970: One to add to my list

sneezeweasle: It’s funny how Clara was considered “unattractive” in the movie. She is very pretty (and even more beautiful as a person) and their attempt to make her less attractive didn’t work very

DiverseFolk: Huh this guy is also Mermaid Man from Spongebob…

waldo_wigglesworth: It’s a difficult film for me to watch. I feel like if the film ended after Marty’s self-deprecating argument with his mom at the beginning, that would be an apt description of my life for the past several years.

MartyAndRick: “You’re not gonna believe this, we gotta go back to 1955.”

WestWonWildly: Such a gut-punch of a film that’ll have you really involved. Not many films do I get do invested in the characters and events where I get mad at them(MARTY’S FRIENDS ARE THE WORST!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Highly suggest anyone watching this. It’s great for any mood.

djrminor: Love love love love this movie!! Chayefsky’s script is gold! First Oscar win before The Hospital and Network!

stevenglansbergalone: After watching all the Best Picture movies this one always stood out as different to the rest. Most Best Picture movies are pretty extravagant or epic like musicals or Gone With The Wind or about social issues and ills at the time the movie came out (think World Wars, anti-Semitism and alcoholism).

This movie is just about a regular guy having a regular weekend. It’s a slice of life picture that doesn’t preach or try to impress. It tells a story and does it really well. All of this made it stand out against the other Best Pictures.

The only other movie that felt vastly different to the other winners was Midnight Cowboy. And I might include Birdman too on that list. They were 3 movies that just didn’t fit the mold of regular Best Picture movies. But only Marty was a simple true to life story with no gimmicks or outrageous personalities. Just a day in the life.

AmaranthineVoid: I read this as Rick Sanchez telling Morty about a movie called 1955

brew1066: For me it’s the change in attitude towards aging that I find amusing and interesting.

Edinedi: ‘Wuz a real clap back at the Method kidz!

ithinkther41am: To think this movie was created as a Producers-style scheme.

golbezexdeath: Absolutely fantastic movie.

we-start-from-here: 5 Centimeters Per Second captured those themes better at only 63 minutes

Poopsmith_McUnty: Yikes that doesn’t really hold up. Morty she sad no! Lol

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