Social Icons

On The Waterfront (1954)

Please Leave A Comment
Tell Me What You Feel

On The Waterfront (1954)


Marlon Brando

Directed by Elia Kazan

On the Waterfront is a movie that I did enjoy, the famous lines, "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am" it is exciting to hear but the whole movie play after a while gets dull till the great ending where Terry had to battle it with Friendly.

Shot in over 36 days, and based on a 24 part series of articles in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson detailing the rate of crime and corruption going on the waterfront of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The series was titled "Crime on the Waterfront" and it won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.

The movie plot has the protagonist Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) a former boxer who took a dive once in the ring so that a Mobster Johnny Friendly could clean house. Now Terry works for Friendly thanks to his brother Charley, Friendly’s faithful companion.

Friendly used Terry to coax a dockworker Joey, out of his apartment where Joey was killed, to signify Friendly’s control over the docks.

Now Joey’s sister is in town trying to get justice to what was done to her brother, nobody wants to snitch on the mob, but Terry’s relationship with Joey’s sister was pushing him down the route of a snitch. Charley warns Terry to layoff Joey’s sister but their love for each other keeps him going back.

Some of the movie characters are actually based on real life people, like Terry Malloy's (Marlon Brando) character was based on Anthony DiVincenzo, who testified before a real-life Waterfront Commission and was ostracized for his act. The movie was made later on, on what seems to be DiVincenzo story and DiVincenzo sued Columbia Pictures for it with the two later settling.

The movie has received critical acclaim since its release; it was a box office success and it received eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Marlon Brando and Best Director for Elia Kazan.

Elia Kazan too has faced many judgments and this film is kinda similar to his life. House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1952 summoned him to name people who were communist he named 8 people and because of that he lost many friends.

Elia Kazan is a masterful director; he makes the best of his actors, bringing out the drama and emotions needed to push the message across to the viewer.

On The Waterfront is a well written classic and it is a nice watch.


Post a Comment