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On the Waterfront

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 1954
  • Elia Kazan
  • 103 mins
  • PG

Summary

Classic, Oscar-winning crime drama starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J Cobb and Rod Steiger. One-time boxing hopeful Terry Malloy idles his time away on New York's dockside, protected by his brother Charley while "working" as a strong-arm man for the corrupt leader of the dockers' union. But Terry begins to question his loyalties after a neighbour is murdered and he falls in love with the dead man's sister, Edie.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

Marlon Brando is unforgettable here as Terry Malloy, a brooding misfit among the rampant corruption of the New York docks, and he was rightly awarded the best actor Oscar for his performance. 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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Terry MalloyMarlon Brando
Father BarryKarl Malden
Johnny FriendlyLee J Cobb
Charley MalloyRod Steiger
"Kayo" DuganPat Henning
Edie DoyleEva Marie Saint
GloverLeif Erickson
Big MacJames Westerfield
TruckTony Galento
TillioTami Mauriello
"Pop" DoyleJohn Hamilton
MottJohn Heldabrand
MooseRudy Bond
LukeDon Blackman
JimmyArthur Keegan
BarneyAbe Simon
JPBarry Macollum
SpecsMike O'Dowd
GilletteMartin Balsam
SlimFred Gwynne
TommyThomas Handley
Mrs CollinsAnne Hegira
Jocko, bartenderPat Hingle
Cab driverNehemiah Persoff

Crew

rolename
DirectorElia Kazan

Details

Languages
English
Guidance
Violence
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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