Sock film version of a Paddy Chayefsky telepIay. Proper selIing should make It a b.o. click. United Artists release of a Hecht-Lancaster production. Produced by Harold Hecht. Stars Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair. Directed by Delbert Mann. Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, from an original teleplay by Chayef-sky; camera, Joseph LaShelle; editor, Alan Crosland Jr.; music, Roy Webb, song, “Hey, Marty,” by Harry Warren. Previewed in N.Y. March 16, ’55. Running time, 93 MINS.
Marty – Ernest Borgnine
Clara – Betsy Blair
Mrs. Pilletti – Esther Minciotti
Catherine – August Ciolli
Angie – Joe Mantell
Virginia – Karen Steele
Thomas – Jerry Paris
Ralph – Frank Sutton
The Kid – Walter Kelley
Joe – Robin Morse
If “Marty” is an example of the type of material that can be gleaned, then studio story editors better spend more time at home looking at television. Based on Paddy Chayefsky’s one-shot Television Playhouse (NBC-TV) tele-play, and screenplayed by the author, “Marty” has been fashioned into a sock picture. It’s a warm, human, sometimes sentimental and an enjoyable experience.
“Marty” will further point up importance of the video showcase. Several Broadway plays have derived from that source. Warner Bros. had a b.o. click in the film version of Jack Webb’s tv “Dragnet” and a number of film producers are currently readying film treatments of other video entries, both series and one-shots.
“Marty” is offbeat in theme and lack of big Hollywood names will require selling both by the distributor and the theatre. But it should rack up runs in specialized houses in big cities. Word-of- mouth will bring ’em in general situations, if exhibitors give the picture the ride it deserves.