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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Delbert Mann Has Died

Delbert Mann, one of the great directors from The Golden Age of Television, has died. Mann's finest moment was in winning a Best Director Oscar for Marty, the famous small film about two plain people who find each other in the 50s. It was always one of my father's favourite films - it made a great impression on him. As it did on many who saw it.

Ernest Borgnine's unexpected face, and everyman's physique (and no woman's fantasy), revealed that love, and yearning, did not simply reside in the matinee idols, but in the banal crowd, too. Borgnine, who also won the Oscar for playing the eponymous protagonist, went on to make such classics as The Poseidon Adventure, where his earthy cop's mad love for his wife Linda ends tragically. What in some hands would have been a maudlin role was transformed by the homely actor into a galvanized character study of a man on the edge - his final scream of loss, calling out her name, is in its way, as effective as Brando's Stella!
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