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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Director Delbert Mann Dies



Film director Delbert Mann
has died at the age of 87. AP:

    Delbert Mann, who transformed Paddy Chayefsky's classic teleplays "Marty" and "The Bachelor Party" into big-screen triumphs and helped bring TV techniques to the film world, died Sunday. He was 87.

    Mann died of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

    [...]

    Mann's 1955 feature version of "Marty" won four Oscars: best picture and director, best actor for Ernest Borgnine and best screenplay for Chayefsky. The low-budget film with mostly little-known actors told the stark, poignant story of Borgnine's 34-year-old Brooklyn butcher who felt he was too ugly to find love. His life is changed when he meets an equally shy but sweet woman played by Betsy Blair.

    "I knew we had a good story because I had already done it on television," Mann once told The Associated Press. "But I certainly never expected it to be the hit that it turned out to be."

    Using techniques he brought from television, Mann took a mere 16 days to shoot the film version of "Marty," plus an additional three days for retakes. This compared with 45 days for typical features of that time, with epic pictures running far beyond that.

    [...]

    Mann's other feature credits include "Desire Under the Elms" (1957), "Separate Tables" (1958), "Middle of the Night" (1959), "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960), "The Outsider" (1961), "That Touch of Mink" (1962), "A Gathering of Eagles" (1963), "Dear Heart" (1964), "Fitzwilly" (1967), "Kidnapped" (1971), "Night Crossing" (1982) and "Bronte" (1983).

    [...]

    "I missed the excitement and concentration that live TV gave us in the old days," Mann said at the time. "I was able to achieve the artistic freedom I can't get in films."

"Marty" - the 1953 television version with Rod Steiger and Nancy Marchand (years before her role as Livia Soprano) is mind-blowingly fantastic. The 1955 film version of "Marty" with Ernest Borgnine is equally impressive.

Full filmography
HERE.

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