Marty [1955]

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli, Joe Mantell
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 90 minutes

The Adventures of Spin and Marty premiered on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 and scored an instant hit. Like many of Disney's most successful creations, Spin and Marty was a simple story. Rich, coddled Martin Markham (David Stollery) arrives at the Triple R in his grandmother's limousine and dismisses the dude ranch for boys as "a dirty old farm." His comment angers everyone, especially Spin Evans (Tim Considine), the most popular boy on the ranch. Over the course of the summer, Marty learns to relax and make friends; he and Spin become best buddies. Humor and wisdom are dispensed by wrangler Ollie (Leonard P. Greer), "Well I'll be a blue-nosed gopher!"; Marty's fussy butler, Perkins (J. Pat O'Malley); avuncular foreman Bill Burnett (Harry Carey, Jr.); and George (Sammee Tong), the Chinese cook, who regales the boys with Western songs in Cantonese. The characters proved so popular Disney brought them back in The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957) and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957). For Baby Boomers, Spin and Marty packs the kind of nostalgic wallop the "Andy Hardy" movies and The Wizard of Oz had for earlier generations. During the '50s, millions of kids dreamed of spending the summer at the Triple R. In More Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin suggests that whether you identify with Spin or Marty constitutes a key division in American society, comparable to who your favorite Beatle was. In the extras, a dismayingly old Considine and Stollery revisit the ranch in Newhall, CA, where the series was filmed. This set is a sure-fire gift choice for aging Boomers. (Unrated, suitable for all ages: minor violence) --Charles Solomon

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