On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


On the Waterfront (1954) Poster

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.


8.1/10
133,735

Videos


Photos

  • Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954)
  • Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


4 May 2008 | Nazi_Fighter_David
10
| Kazan's film constitutes an extraordinary tour de force of fluid direction and nervous, edgy acting
"On the Waterfront" is basically the story of one man, Terry Malloy, a young dock worker with a little, and unsuccessful, experience as a boxer but not much intelligence or purpose… He wastes his time around the docks, vaguely discontented about his life and revealing a tender trace in his otherwise tough manner as he tends his pigeons caged on the roof of his modest building…

His brother Charley (Rod Steiger), a suave opportunistic lawyer, works for the local dockers' union, headed by Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), the arrogant mob boss…

Friendly takes affectionate interest in Terry and tries to make things easy for him… He also takes advantage of Terry by involving him in the killing of an uncooperative docker… Unaware of their murderous intentions, Terry sets the trap for the man who is thrown from a roof top because he allowed himself to be interviewed by a crime investigating commission…

Terry's alienation from the crooked union leaders starts when he meets the dead man's sister, Edie (Eva Marie Saint), and realizes the grief he has brought into her life… She asks his help in bringing the racketeers to justice, as does Father Barry (Karl Malden), a priest of complete goodness and rightness…

Brando's moral dilemma was superbly drawn in the film… He's an ordinary man finding the courage to stand up and be counted… As portrayed by Brando he is touchingly believable…

The rest of the cast is excellent:

Cobb is extremely good as the brute fury boss who intimidates the workers into silence, stopping at nothing to maintain his position of power on the docks...

Rod Steiger gives his finest performance as the clever and suave opportunistic lawyer who works for the local docker's union...

Eva Marie Saint manages to make the blood go through Brando's valves reviving and creating a heart that never existed before...

Karl Malden is hard and clear as the activist Catholic priest who continue encouraging other longshoremen to testify, inciting Brando to fight for his rights—regardless of the cost—rather than be a pawn in a ruthless system of bribes and killings...

"On the Waterfront" is one of the great American films, not only because it bravely spreads a strong light on the violation of justice, but because it is a powerful piece of cinema, which push forward a classic study of man's responsibility to his fellow man...

The film won eight Academy Awards...

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

All About Eve

All About Eve

Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Apartment

The Apartment

Sunset Blvd.

Sunset Blvd.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

North by Northwest

North by Northwest

Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Rebecca

Rebecca

The Third Man

The Third Man

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Richard Schickel in his biography of Elia Kazan, Frank Sinatra had "a handshake deal"--but no formally-signed contract--to play Terry Malloy after Marlon Brando's original refusal to play the role. Sinatra--who was producer Sam Spiegel's first choice for the role--actually attended one wardrobe fitting to prepare his costumes for the film. But Kazan still favoured Brando for the role, partially because Brando's casting in the film would assure a larger budget for the picture. Kazan was actually contacted by Brando's agent, Jay Kanter, to assure the director of the agent's continuing efforts to persuade the actor to perform in the film. Kazan in the meantime enlisted actor Karl Malden--whom Kazan considered more suited to a career as a director than a career as an actor--to direct and film a screen test of a "more Brando-like" actor as Terry Malloy, in an effort to persuade Spiegel that "an actor like Marlon Brando" could perform the Terry Malloy role more forcefully than Frank Sinatra. To that end, Malden filmed a screen test of Actor's Studio members Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward--neither of whom had as yet appeared in a motion picture--performing the love scene between Terry and Edie. Finally persuaded of the point by the Newman/Woodward screen test, Spiegel agreed to reconsider Brando for the role, and shortly afterward Brando was persuaded by Kanter to reconsider his refusal. Within a week, Brando signed a contract to perform in the film. At that point, a furious Sinatra demanded to be cast in the role of Father Barry, the waterfront priest. It was left to Spiegel to break the news to Sinatra that Malden had already been signed for that role. Later that year, Newman appeared in his first motion picture, The Silver Chalice (1954), which was a critical and commercial failure. Newman and Woodward married four years later.


Quotes

Johnny: You take it from here, Slugger.


Goofs

In the final scene, the large ship at the dock in the background changes between a freighter and a cruise ship.


Crazy Credits

and introducing Eva Marie Saint


Alternate Versions

Criterion Collection Blu-ray Disc release exhibits the film in 1.66:1, which is widely regarded to be the "correct" aspect ratio for the film. However, a second disc includes the film in 1.33:1 AND 1.85:1, so that viewers can watch the film in the different ratios.


Soundtracks

Here Comes the Bride
(uncredited)
Written by
Richard Wagner

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Tony Hawk Teaches Jay Pharoah to Skateboard

When Jay Pharoah wants to become the most versatile actor in the world, he turns to experts to teach him new skills. First up: Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk teaches Jay to ride.

Watch the video

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com