On the Waterfront


Review: Johnny Friendly, mob connected union boss, rules the waterfront with an iron fist. Police are aware that he has been responsible for a number of murders. Terry Malloy an ex-fighter could have been a contender but now gets involved with Johnny Friendly on the waterfront. Terry is guilt-stricken when he lures a rebellious worker to his death. He keeps his mouth shut until he meets the dead dockworker’s sister, Edie. Terry feels somewhat responsible for the death and is persuaded to cooperate with the commission.
Director: Elia Kazan
Actors: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Leif Erickson, James Westerfield, Rudy Bond and Eva Marie Saint
Year: 1954
Genre: Classics, Crime, Drama, Romance and Thriller
Conclusion: 5/5
This film is actually based on a true story about a longshoreman. The musical score is electrifying, composed by Leonard Bernstein. The cinematography by Boris Kaufman, is brilliant. The actress, Grace Kelly was originally offered the role of Edie Doyle but decided to make Rear Window, 1954 instead. I felt that Eva Marie Saint was perfectly cast and in the film. Her character was supposed to be 19 years of age but she was 30 at the time of the film’s release. This is Marlon Brando’s finest performance. Frank Sinatra was originally offered the part of Terry Malloy. According to the BBFC, one or more versions have been cut but the details are no longer available. The main theme in this film is conscience. In this film Marlon Brando quotes one of his favourite lines of movie history which is “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.” At the Academy Awards in 1955 this won 8 Oscars. They were for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Marlon Brando), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eva Marie Saint), Best Director, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White and Best Film Editing. At the Golden Globe Awards in 1955 this won 4 Awards. They were for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actor – Drama (Marlon Brando), Best Director and Best Cinematography – Black and White. At the Bafta Awards in 1955, Marlon Brando won for Best Foreign Actor. 


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