On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

DVD - 2013
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Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and institutional corruption. This film charts Terry's deepening moral crisis as he must choose whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly and Johnny's right-hand man, Terry's brother, Charley, as the authorities close in on them.

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Nicr Mar 16, 2020

Masterfully directed and written. Brando is nonpareil as the inarticulate, confused and yearning Terry Malloy in a struggle with love and conscience.

a
akirakato
Mar 03, 2019

Directed by Elia Kazan in 1954 loosely based on the 1949 Pulitzer Prize articles "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, this American crime drama delves into union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen while detailing widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Superb are the performances of Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy and Eva Marie Saint as Edie Doyle.
Terry Malloy appears in part modeled after whistle-blowing longshoreman Anthony DeVincenzo, who testified before a real-life Waterfront Commission about activities on the Hoboken Docks.
Although screenwriter Budd Schulberg got some idea from the Pulitzer articles, he somewhat came up with his own idea after attending DeVincenzo's waterfront commission testimony during the hearing.

r
rationbook
Mar 03, 2019

I was struck by the cinematography in this movie.

In one of the first scenes, the faces of some supporting characters were arranged in such a way that I found striking. It seemed their faces were choreographed as they moved. I have never seen this in a modern day movie.

One of the greatest films of all time, Elia Kazan's and Budd Schulberg's take on the corrupt longshore union of Manhattan's Westside, re-imagined across the Hudson in Hoboken. Marlon Brando is beautiful as is Eva Marie Saint (her convincing Catholic purity is what floats the film), but Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger and Karl Malden all deliver, as does Leonard Bernstein's testosterone-dripping score. These Criterion Collection editions are priceless. There are three disks, each has a different aspect ration -- widescreen, old-school boxy square, etc. -- and each disk is loaded with excellent supplements that delve into all the particulars -- Kazan's career, Kazan testifying in front of HUAC and naming names, the history of how ON THE WATERFRONT came to be made, etc. One of my takeaways from seeing the film again is how important the feeling of victimization is for the working class. That's the whole point of Brando's dialogue with Steiger, "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." The stab in the back. An important foundation for reactionary politics. Trump knows what he is doing.

s
swyckl
Nov 10, 2016

I liked this DVD. I recommend the movie to adults only. It is not too sexual. It is too violent for children. The story plot is strong. The actors did a great job. Marlon Brando, the main character, did the right thing in the end; but, motivated by the wrong reason. This story has a moral lesson. It shows how important unions were for representing the rights of the workers. It shows the importance of family helping each other working together.

Great movie, especially for its time. Director a controversial figure. Marlon Brando as a hot young actor.

n
Nursebob
Aug 14, 2015

Steiger and Brando are pure cinematic gold, with a guilt-riddled Charlie trying to protect his younger sibling while at the same time indoctrinating him into the mob’s ranks, and Terry still smarting over the fact that his older brother sabotaged his promising boxing career for the sake of a rigged bet. Eva Marie Saint, for her part, plays the bewildered ingenue to perfection (although erotic sparks fly with that first kiss) and Lee J. Cobb growls and paces like a wounded grizzly. Unfortunately Malden’s crusading preacher delivers one too many fiery sermons, albeit with the best of intentions, which only add more mass to a film already heavy with moral quandaries. Lastly, Boris Kaufman’s brilliant B&W cinematography and a grave musical score by Leonard Bernstein transform the film’s drab Hoboken settings into a Dantean landscape of smoke and decay with the ubiquitous presence of pigeons and hawks overhead underscoring the central theme of predator vs prey. A classic in every sense.

t
trotter73
Jan 03, 2015

one of the classics. at points it feels a little dated but it is a 60 year old film so that's acceptable. DVD has lots of bonus materials too

An interesting film about the corruption in unions on the docks.

m
m_t
Oct 17, 2013

One of my favourite movies of all time. Fantastic performances and a great story!

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trotter73
Jan 03, 2015

I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody.

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Monolith
Feb 01, 2012

...I coulda had class... I coulda been a contender... I coulda been SOMEBODY... instead of a BUM... which is what I am... let's face it...

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