The final scene from the 1955 drama Marty, written by Paddy Chayefsky, one of three screenplays for which he won an Academy Award.
Setup: Two lonely people, Marty and Clara, have almost resigned themselves to never being truly loved.
187TH STREET. BAR. NIGHT. CLOSE-UP of Marty leaning against the wall in front of the bar. A group of young men lounge about, killing time. Angie, Leo and Joe are among them. There are perhaps four or five other young MEN, loosely divided into two groups. The group that concerns us has Marty and the others mentioned and GEORGE, a young man in a sport jacket. LEO What time is it? JOE About eight o'clock. ANGIE (to George) You don't feel like going downna Seventy-Second Street? GEORGE It'll take an hour anna hour back, and the whole evening's gone. JOE What's playing on Fordham Road? I think there's a good picture in the Loew's Paradise. GEORGE You guys feel like working up a game- a cards? ANGIE Come on, let's go down Seventy-Second Street, walk around. We're sure to wind up with something. CLOSE-UP of Marty, his head down, his eyes closed. The group continues their dialogue back and forth. Their VOICES can be heard as Marty's head slowly comes up. JOE'S VOICE (off-screen) I'll never forgive LaGuardia for cutting out burlesque outta New York City... GEORGE'S VOICE (off-screen) There's a burlesque in Union City. Let's go over to Union City... ANGIE'S VOICE (off-screen) Yeah, you're the one who don't even wanna take a ride onna subway for half an hour. Now, you wanna go alla way over to Union City... GEORGE'S VOICE (off-screen) I feel like playing cards. I saw Richie Rizzo, that's what he said he felt like doing... JOE'S VOICE (off-screen) I don't feel like playing cards. Waddaya feel like doing tonight, Angie? ANGIE'S VOICE (off-screen) I don't know. Wadda you feel like doing? JOE'S VOICE (off-screen) I don't know, Angie. Wadda you feel like doing? A fury rises in Marty's face. He cries out at them. MARTY "What are you doing tonight?"... "I don't know, what are you doing?!"... CAMERA ANGLES over to the others who, at this outburst, stare at Marty astounded. MARTY (continuing) The burlesque! Loew's Paradise! Miserable and lonely! Miserable and lonely and stupid! What am I, crazy or something?! I got something good here! What am I hanging around with you guys for?! He has said this in tones so loud that it attracts the attention of the few PEOPLE on the street. A little embarrassed by the attention he's getting, he turns, opens the door to the bar, and goes into it. After a stunned moment, Angie hurries after him. INSIDE THE BAR. Marty marches the length of the room toward the phone booths in the rear. CAMERA ANGLES to disclose Angie right behind him. Marty is about to enter one of the phone booths, but he stops as Angie hurries up to him. ANGIE Watsa matter with you? Marty pauses, one foot in the booth. MARTY You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog, and I'm a fat, ugly little man. All I know is I hadda good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna go down on my knees and beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party again this New Year's, I gotta date for the party. You don't like her, that's too bad. Marty has been fishing in his pocket for his address book. He opens it to its proper page and steps decisively into the phone booth. Nearby, Angie prowls around outside the booth. The booth door is open. Marty starts to dial. A hush fills the room except for the CLICKING of the telephone dial. INSIDE THE PHONE BOOTH. The look of fury has drained from Marty's face. He holds the receiver to his ear, glances out toward Angie. CAMERA ANGLES to include Angie. MARTY (his old amiable self) When you gonna get married, Angie? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You're thirty-three years old. All your kid brothers are married. You oughta be ashamed of yourself. Still smiling at his very private joke, Marty returns to the phone, and after a fraction of a second... MARTY Hello... Clara?... As Angie looks miserable, and Marty slowly reaches out and pushes the phone booth door shut, and continues to talk into the phone, we very slowly... FADE OUT. THE END
One of the single best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.