The first time I learned about the work of Ernest Borgnine was during my Freshman year of college. My professor of Art and Language of Television was obsessed with the movie Marty. So I, like a studious, dedicated and attentive student of the arts…ignored his recommendation entirely. (College kids are assholes, what can I say?)
Shortly before starting my Film Quest, I found Marty on Netflix and remembered that professor of mine. I gave it a whirl. I was really drawn into Borgnine’s portrayal of the title character. Marty’s vulnerability leaped off the screen; Borgnine’s chemistry with female-lead Betsy Blair was real and palpable. It was a film full of hope, anchored by Borgnine’s socially-awkward performance of a man who was hapless, yet eternally optimistic.
Borgnine died on Sunday at the age of 95 leaving behind quite the film legacy. To celebrate his work, Turner Classic Movies is airing a 24-hour movie marathon of Borgnine’s films on July 26, starting with The Catered Affair at 6 a.m., followed by The Legend of Lylah Clare at 8 a.m., and Pay or Die at 10:30 a.m. The rest of the schedule is as follows:
Torpedo Run – 12:30 p.m.
Ice Station Zebra – 2:30 p.m.
The Dirty Dozen – 5:15 p.m.
Private Screenings (2009) – 8 p.m.
Marty – 9 p.m.
From Here to Eternity – 10:45 p.m.
The Wild Bunch – 1 a.m.
Bad Day at Black Rock – 3:30 a.m.
A repeat of Private Screenings – 5 a.m.