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On The Waterfront [DVD]

Marlon Brando , Lee J. Cobb , Boris Kaufman    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: 24.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger
  • Directors: Boris Kaufman
  • Producers: Leonard Bernstein, Elia Kazan
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Uca
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan 2009
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MAA6QK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,154 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Marlon Brando's famous "I coulda been a contenda" speech in On the Water Front is such a war horse by now that a lot of people probably feel they've seen the film already, even if they haven't. And many of those who have seen it may have forgotten how flat-out thrilling it is. For all its great dramatic and cinematic qualities, and its fiery social criticism, Elia Kazan's has created one of the most gripping melodramas of political corruption and individual heroism ever made in the United States, a five-star gut-grabber. Shot on location around the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey, in the mid-1950s, it tells the fact-based story of a longshoreman (Brando's Terry Malloy) who is blackballed and savagely beaten for informing against the mobsters who have taken over his union and sold it out to the bosses. (Karl Malden has a more conventional stalwart-hero role, as an idealistic priest who nurtures Terry's pangs of conscience.) Lee J Cobb, who created the role of Willy Loman in Death of Salesman under Kazan's direction on Broadway, makes a formidable foe as a greedy union leader. --David Chute,

Product Description

Elia Kazan directs this 1950s crime drama starring Marlon Brando. Ex-boxer Terry Malloy (Brando) becomes involved in corrupt dockside politics through his lawyer brother Charley (Rod Steiger), who works for gangster union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). When Terry witnesses the murder of a union worker by Johnny's thugs, his conscience begins to trouble him. He meets the murder victim's sister (Eva Marie Saint), and learns from Father Barry (Karl Malden) that the dead man was about to expose Johnny's illegal activities. Father Barry then tries to convince Terry to provide the evidence required to put Johnny behind bars. The film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Actor.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
In 1954, acclaimed director of "A Streetcar Named Desire", Elia Kazan collaborated with one of the finest musicians of the time, Leonard Bernstein, and possibly the most gifted and versatile actors in screen history, Marlon Brando to create a film of nearly unmatchable power and disturbing realism.
"On the Waterfront" tells the emotional story of an ex-boxer, Terry Malloy (Brando), who, after seeing the immoral and deeply wrong nature of the mafia he is working for, realises the value of life and freedom and sets about to bring the organisation down for its crimes.
A superb performance on Brando's part as well as the film's supporting actors: Eva Marie Saint, who plays the attractive young nun, Edie, who convinces Malloy to listen to his conscience and eventually find his admirable view on life: Rod Steiger, who playsMalloy's brother, Charley The Gent, who shares the fantastic taxi scene with Brando, in which the relationship of the two brothers is seen in its real light: Karl Malden, who plays the creditable town priest whose goal from the outset is to persuade the workers at the dock to rise up against the mafia and expose their evil ways: and lee J. Cobb, who plays mafia leader, Johnny friendly whose ruthless and barbaric personality is mirrored perfectly in Cobbs performance.
Bernstein's score also adds to the amazing power of the film, reflecting the fear, hatred, anger and confusion in every workers hearts and minds in the film. The famous scene where a truck threatens to run Malloy and Edie over in a remote alleyway is given a vital accompaniment of striking overscore to convey the sense of panic and terror that is so prominent in most scenes in the film.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why Brando's considered one of the best 27 Oct 2002
'On The Waterfront' is a story about Terry Malloy, an ex-prizefighter who now works for gangsters on the docks. However, after being part of a murder, Malloy starts to feel guilty, yet his loyalty prevents his conscience from seeking penance. Through out the movie, Malloy is torn by his morals, particularly when he meets the sister of the murdered man.
Based on true events, the film paints a glum picture of working-class life, by shooting on location and in grimy black and white. Marlon Brando has gained phenomenal recognition for this role, and rightly so, offering one of the greatest performances in movie history - the torn and confused Terry Malloy - and yes, that famous scene - "I coulda been a contender." Rod Steiger is also brilliant as Malloy's brother Charley, who's deep underworld connections resulted in Malloy's present state. This movie deserves all the hype that surrounds it, as it is a genuinely classic, smart movie.
A brilliant morality tale, the "story of the redemption of Terry Malloy" is an astounding depiction of life and conscience, a man facing his personal demons and need to do the right thing. Despite the last two minutes of the movie (which went for a fairly misplaced up-beat feel), this is a must watch, must own, intelligent, thought-provoking classic.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done. 8 May 2004
By Tatiana
The 1950's were a strange, strange time for American film. When watching On the Waterfront it’s helpful to consider two important events that occurred in this decade. Firstly there were the Communist witch-hunts, which lead to many directors being blacklisted (included Elia Kazan). Secondly there was a growing concern that America was becoming complacent. New products would come out and commercials would market them on the basis that they made life easier. In much of the same manner suburban housing became appealing to those who lived in the city with a lower income. Moving to the suburbs gave such people a chance to own a house and move themselves up the class ladder. By buying these products and moving into the mass-produced suburbs some felt that the country was conforming and loosing its identity.
It isn’t difficult to see that these two occurrences had great bearing on the film. At the beginning of the film we find that Terry Malloy (Brando) has resigned himself to the idea that he missed out on his dream of being a prize-fighter. So he lives his life running errands for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the Dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny's thugs, and later meets the dead man's sister (Edie Doyle) who he ultimately falls in love with. She introduces him to Father Barry (Karl Malden), who tries to make him supply information for the courts in order to destroy the dock racketeers.
The fact Terry is put in a situation at the end where he has to ‘ name names’ parallels Elia Kazan’s own dilemma. In fact he later said that ‘On the Waterfront is my own story; every day I worked on that film I was telling the world where I stood and my critics to go and **** themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Acting Masterclass 15 Dec 2011
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Elia Kazan's 1954 masterpiece of New York dockland crime and corruption is a true Hollywood classic (back in the days when such a concept wasn't a rarity) and contains some of the finest acting performances to originate from that bygone era. The film rightly won eight Oscars, including that for Best Film, Best Director (Kazan) and Best Actor (Marlon Brando).

The film's main protagonist Terry Malloy (Brando) is torn between, on the one hand, his loyalty to the dockland 'mafia gang' run by Johnny Friendly (Lee J Cobb), whose members include chief henchman Charley (Terry's brother played by Rod Steiger), and, on the other hand, his burgeoning love for dockland new arrival Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint), whose brother Joey has recently been murdered by Friendly's gang. At the prompting of local priest Father Barry (Karl Malden) Terry is persuaded to testify in court against Friendly's gang with predictably tragic consequences.

In addition to Brando's career-best performance, there are also outstanding performances from Karl Malden (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) and a remarkably assured film debut performance from Eva Marie Saint (at the surprisingly mature age of 30), a performance which garnered Saint the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. But, for me, the two outstanding acting plaudits go to Rod Steiger in a brilliantly underplayed role as Charlie, and the much underrated Lee J Cobb, who exudes menace as the ruthless Johnny Friendly. Cobb's performance ranks alongside his other career-crowning glory that was his film-stealing role as the anonymously-named Juror No. 3 in Sidney Lumet's 1957 courtroom classic 12 Angry Men. Both Steiger and Cobb were (along with Malden) also unsuccessful in the Best Supporting Actor category.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film ever
I first saw this film upon its release in the fifties when I was but a boy and dating my first (late) wife, Pat. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Richard Shillam
5.0 out of 5 stars 1950s films
Another 1950s film that can be viewed again and again. Always loved all Marlon Brando films the earlier ones were better but even The Godfather was wonderful.
Published 28 days ago by gillian5859
5.0 out of 5 stars One pf the epic movies
Because after all these years since its first release it has remained very vividly in my mind. I lived in New York for 6 years in the sixties and the memories of the strong... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Finbar Gallagher
5.0 out of 5 stars A prezzie for someone.
What`s not to like about this classic movie. I have not opened it but I am sure it will be fine.
Published 4 months ago by eileen powell
3.0 out of 5 stars Old film revisited
Have not watched it yet but remember the film from years ago and enjoyed it then. Purchased it as a present for someone who is a Brando fan.
Published 4 months ago by Gill Mitcham
5.0 out of 5 stars I forgot what a great film this is
I bought this for a media study a private student was doing and found myself looking at this classic film with new eyes.What a great piece of cinema!
Published 5 months ago by Rickythewiz
5.0 out of 5 stars On the waterfront dvd
Marlon Brando at his best this dvd was an old film but still very good film to watch the dvd was in good condition.
Published 6 months ago by mr robert howes
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD VALUE
I needed this film for a project, but did not want to pay over the odds for it. Great Film!
Published 8 months ago by ann vickers
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic movie!
It is a long time since I last saw this film. I bought it for my 16 year old son. Powerful story and amazing acting.
Published 9 months ago by Unhappy customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dockland Mafia
A good deal of water has passed under the bridge in the last six decades, and a retrospective view of 1950s filmland can produce a balanced judgement. Read more
Published 11 months ago by lycidas
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