Sireniacal Gentlemen #1

Betsy Blair and Ernest Borgnine in Marty, 1955

Sooner or later there comes a time in a man’s life when he gotta face some facts, and one fact I gotta face is that whatever it is that women like, I ain’t got it. I chased enough girls in my life. I went to enough dances. I got hurt enough. I don’t wanna get hurt no more. I just called a girl just now, and I got a real brush-off, boy. I figured I was past the point of being hurt, but that hurt. Some stupid woman I didn’t even wanna call up. She gave me the brush. I don’t wanna go to the Stardust Ballroom because all that ever happened to me there was girls made me feel like I was a bug. I got feelings, you know. I had enough pain. No thank you.

—from Marty by Paddy Chayevsky

Actors are rarely welcome among the Sireniacal Gentlemen
but Borgnine might be accepted for a round or two,
strictly for Paddy’s sake, of course.
A round or two then off to wherever the actors go,
the Viper Room, maybe, or some new joint run by Toots.
But for a round or two they share Chayevsky’s angry space
and Borgnine laughs and smiles through it all.
A round or two they talk, they spar, they argue, they embrace,
and then they part for eternity,
two giants, each made by the other.

—Don Whittington


4 thoughts on “Sireniacal Gentlemen #1

    • Good luck with that. I guess you’ll have to get a library card. If only there were some clever, automated way to research it, some kind of, oh, I don’t know, “search motor” maybe.

  1. I watched Network for the first time a couple of months ago and I was reading up on Chayevsky and I was surprised to see that he wrote Marty, a movie I’ve never seen but read about when I was probably 10 years old in a book about Oscars winners. There were fewer of them then. Mostly Borgnine was McHale to me, but he sure was a bad guy in the Wild Bunch, huh? Anyway, thanks for the entry.

    • Good to hear from you, and thanks for the comment. He was a bad guy in From Here to Eternity, too. And he was a gas in Escape From New York. Just an interesting actor to watch.

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