On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

Elia Kazan (1954)

103min
A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In this seminal classic, Marlon Brando is unforgettable as Terry Malloy - a brooding misfit among the rampant corruption of the New York docks - and was rightly awarded an Oscar for best actor (the youngest ever at the time). The movie works on several levels. On the surface it's an extremely well-crafted and entertaining drama, but peel away some layers and you'll discover an apologia for informing. It's fascinating, then, to discover the superb direction is by Elia Kazan, who himself "named names" in McCarthyite America. Mix in Leonard Bernstein's Oscar-nominated score, memorable dialogue from screenwriter Budd Schulberg and truly great performances from screen newcomers Eva Marie Saint and Rod Steiger - if ever a movie deserved its eight Oscars, it was this one. Brando added the BFA award - the equivalent then of the Baftas - for best foreign actor to his Oscar.

Summary

A former prizefighter is reduced to completing errands for the gangsters running the dockyard unions. When he witnesses his boss's thugs commit murder, he is willing to keep his mouth shut - until his conscience is pricked by an outspoken priest and the dead man's sister, who hope to persuade him to testify against the crooks. Elia Kazan's Oscar-winning drama, starring Marlon Brando, Lee J Cobb, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger.

Cast & Crew

Terry Malloy Marlon Brando
Father Barry Karl Malden
Johnny Friendly Lee J Cobb
Charley Malloy Rod Steiger
"Kayo" Dugan Pat Henning
Edie Doyle Eva Marie Saint
Glover Leif Erickson
Big Mac James Westerfield
Truck Tony Galento
Tillio Tami Mauriello
"Pop" Doyle John Hamilton
Mott John Heldabrand
Moose Rudy Bond
Luke Don Blackman
Jimmy Arthur Keegan
Barney Abe Simon
JP Barry Macollum
Specs Mike O'Dowd
Gillette Martin Balsam
Slim Fred Gwynne
Tommy Thomas Handley
Mrs Collins Anne Hegira
Jocko, bartender Pat Hingle
Cab driver Nehemiah Persoff
Director Elia Kazan
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteGuidance: ViolenceAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama