I know that most people my age really only know Ernest Borgnine from Laser Mission, or Airwolf, or at the very most The Poseidon Adventure.
But I’ll always think of Marty, the story of a heavy-set Italian-American butcher who lives in The Bronx, New York City, with his mother.
The first time I saw Marty was just as I entered High School, it wasn’t the first black and white movie I had seen and certainly not the oldest, but it was instantly a favorite.
I don’t know. What do you want to do tonight, Marty?
Is still one of my most used quotes.
My affection for Marty doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the silliness of Laser Mission, or the over the top stupidity of The Poseidon Adventure, I just know that Borgnine had more in him than Mermaid Man. A short List of examples are:
- Bad Day at Black Rock 1955
- McHale’s Navy 1964
- The Flight of the Phoenix 1965
- The Dirty Dozen 1967
- The Wild Bunch 1969
I think we all have the urge to be a clown, whether we know it or not. The clown we see is a fascinating person, expressing pathos, poignancy, joie de vivre. It’s an opportunity to express one’s innermost feelings while hiding behind a mask.
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