Ernest Borgnine plays the title character, a lonely middle-aged butcher from the Bronx living at home with his well-meaning but smothering mother. When his mother convinces him to go out dancing at the Stardust Ballroom, he meets a rather plain teacher, Clara, who is also middle-aged and unmarried. After a few dances, they hit it off, but when she meets his mother and his slacker friends, they are nasty and hostile, and Marty doesn't return her phone call. But finally, at a bar with his friends, realizes he needs to live for himself, and rekindles the romance.
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Ratings and Reviews
Critics Consensus: Scriptwriter Paddy Chayefsky's solid dialogue is bolstered by strong performances from Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair in this appealingly low-key character study.