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Marty: A Classic Cinematherapy Bad Hair Day Movie

Marty with Ernest Borgnine, the perfect Cinematherapy prescription for a Bad Hair Day

Farewell to Ernest Borgnine, whose marvelous portrayal of the love-deprived Marty in the 1955 classic Bad Hair Day Movie earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Marty (1955)

Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair

Director: Delbert Mann

Writer: Paddy Chayefsky, based on his TV play

You know you’ve got to start working on those self-esteem issues when you find yourself identifying with hangdog Ernest Borgnine in this classic Cinematherapy flick. Well, he is brilliant in this raw portrayal of a guy and a gal who “ain’t such dogs” after all, even if they do get ditched and dissed right and left. When Marty (Borgnine), a Brooklyn butcher, rescues a not-so-fair damsel in distress (Blair) at the Stardust Ballroom, he realizes that maybe happiness won’t elude him forever, despite his painfully honest declaration to his worried mama that he’ll never get married—”I’m a fat, ugly man!” he cries, and every split end in your world will seem magnified as you burst into tears at this mirroring of your own self-loathing. Fortunately, as Mother always said, every pot finds its lid, and when Marty gulps, opens his frog eyes wide, and asks, “Are you … a Catholic?” you just know that these two will live happily ever after, free of stubborn grey and overprocessed ends.

Brutal and beautiful. Watch Marty as you do a mud mask and manicure and you’ll be feeling like a wallflower turned heirloom rose in no time–but until then, avoid all mirrors lest you unleash a piteous crying jag.

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Cinematherapy Rx: Happily Ever After Movie “Pillow Talk”

Take a break from the uncertainty of life with a Happily Every After movie that promises that every conflict can be resolved and every loose thread tucked away in a seamless story of perfect boy-meets-girl, boy marries girl, and they lived happily ever after. Check out this Cinematherapy Happily Ever After



Pillow Talk (1959)

Stars: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall.

Director: Michael Gordon

Writers: Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin, based on a story by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene

From the moment those credits roll, with Doris and Rock gaily tossing pink and blue satin pillows in the air while Doris’s honey-smooth voice sings “there must be a boy, must be a pillow, must be a pillow talkin’ boy for me,” you know you’re in for one surreal romp. Originally billed as a “sexcapade,” Pillow Talk is a bizarre little gem from an era before Vidal Sassoon, Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo, the short and sassy look, or that stuff your hairdresser gives you to “scrunch” with for a natural look. Doris Day plays Jan Morrow, a freckle-nosed, no-nonsense career girl in a silver helmet wig, the hairs of which wouldn’t dare stir even in nuclear blast. Smooth talking Brad Allen, a lothario who shares her party line, is determined to get Jan to let her hair down in more ways than one. The boundaries of her conversations violated by the vagaries of 50s era telephone technology, Jan is determined to retain her dignity, her privacy, her flawless ‘do, and her virginity, which makes sense given her options for risk management in the pre-Pill, pre-feminist era.

Now, Jan knows how to handle a man who is all hands and cheap pick up lines but of course, a gal can’t find happiness in the pre-free-love era without a plotline that promises hot sex forever after—at least, once the ring is on her finger. With the help of a friend (Tony Randall) who just so happens to know Jan, Brad plays a mischievous game of multiple personalities, teasing Jan into pondering whether it’s possible that underneath that playboy exterior beats the heart of a sensitive soul with a penchant for interior design and recipe collecting. Then again, maybe under that sensitive soul exterior beats the heart of someone keeping a major secret from the movie going audience for the sake of better lead male roles…

Next time you’re seeking simple solutions and unwilling to look too far below the surface, slip into some pink pajamas, curl up with a few fluffy pillows, and pour yourself a nice grasshopper or pink lady to sip while you enjoy this frothy little piece of Americana.

World Class Wrecks

“Mr. Allen, this may come as a surprise to you, but there are some men who don’t end every sentence with a proposition.”—Doris Day as Jan Morrow in Pillow Talk

“I look upon Brad Allen like any other disease. I’ve had him. I’m over him. I’m immune to him.”—Doris Day as Jan Morrow in Pillow Talk

“You listen to me. No alcoholic beverage, no drug known to science, no torture device yet devised could induce me to stay married to you!”—Doris Day as Carol Templeton in Lover Come Back

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