Freeview film of the day: On the Waterfront

Marlon Brando pours his soul into Elia Kazan’s dockside classic

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On the Waterfront ★★★★★ 
10.40pm-12.25am BBC2 

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Preceded by the premiere of Brando documentary Listen to Me Marlon, this is the film that gained Marlon Brando his first Oscar, a violent, riveting tale of corruption and murder on the New York waterfront where the trade union is controlled by mob-connected Lee J Cobb. Brando plays a dockworker, an ex-boxer whose ring career had been ruined when his brother, Rod Steiger, Cobb’s right-hand man, persuaded him to take a dive. Now, inadvertently, he becomes involved in the murder of a man who had opposed Cobb but he also meets and is smitten by that man’s sister, Eva Marie Saint (on her film debut). The waterfront is dominated by fear of Cobb but, influenced by Saint, Brando works to bring him down and find his own redemption. A fine script by Budd Schulberg, skilled direction by Elia Kazan and brilliant performances by Brando and Steiger. Simply not to be missed.


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