On The Waterfront [DVD]
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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.
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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In its time it was a masterpiece. Now...we gave come to accept this kind of drama but that should not dilute a powerful story and great acting.Published 29 days ago by Dr. Michael J. Atkins
Elia Kazan and Brando at their best. An intelligent, great filmPublished 3 months ago by Ja Sainz Vicuna