1955 marked the year that an unpretentious, simple film about a man looking for love would take top honors at the Academy Awards. The film, Marty, directed by Delbert Mann stars Ernest Borgnine as Marty Piletti, a good-hearted, shy Brooklyn butcher who is fed up with his life as a single man. Often feeling unattractive to women, Marty resigns himself to marriage and sets his sights on life as a bachelor. Well, that is until he heads to a dance hall where he’s led to a chance encounter with another lost soul, Clara (Betsy Blair). After trading stories about feeling unattractive and unwanted, Marty and Clara come to realize that each may have found the one they’re both looking for. Marty was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and it came away with 4 wins-all in major categories (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Borgnine and Best Screenplay for Paddy Chayefsky). Another interesting coup for this film was that, at a running time of a mere 91 minutes, it became the shortest film to take the Best Picture prize at the Academy Awards.
Adding to the film’s 8 overall Academy Award nominations was Betsy Blair, nominee, (174), and the supporting work she turned in as Clara- a sensitive schoolteacher who gets dumped by a blind date and slowly finds herself falling for an awkward butcher who sees life just as she does. This was Blair’s one and only Oscar nomination. She lost the Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year to the magnetic Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden.