- Directors: Delbert Mann
- Producers: Harold Hecht
- Writers: Paddy Chayefsky
- Genres: Drama, Romance
- Actors: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Frank Sutton, Karen Steele, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli
The film stars Borgnine as Marty Piletti, a heavy-set Italian-American butcher who lives in the Bronx with his mother. Unmarried at 34, the good-natured but socially awkward man faces constant badgering from family and friends to get married. Not averse to marriage but disheartened by his lack of prospects, Marty has reluctantly resigned himself to bachelorhood.
After being importuned by his mother into going to the Stardust Ballroom one Saturday night, Marty connects with Claraâ€”a plain school teacher who has been nastily abandoned by her blind date. Spending the evening together, Clara and Marty realize their emotional connection. The two part with Marty’s promise to call the next day.
Fearing the romance could spell her abandonment, Marty’s mother belittles Clara. Likewise, Marty’s friends are unimpressed because of her plainness, and try to convince Marty to forget about her. Harangued into submission, Marty doesn’t call Clara.
Back in the same lonely rut, Marty realizes that he is giving up a chance at love with a wonderful woman. Over the objections of his friends, he impulsively dashes to a phone booth to give Clara a call.