All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
On the Waterfront
The Man Lived by the Jungle Law of the Docks!
Terry Malloy dreams about being a prize fighter, while tending his pigeons and running errands at the docks for Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. Terry witnesses a murder by two of Johnny's thugs, and later meets the dead man's sister and feels responsible for his death. She introduces him to Father Barry, who tries to force him to provide information for the courts that will smash the dock racketeers.
One of the great American Classics that somehow managed to elude me all this time.
I now fully understand what people mean when they say that acting has a pre-Brando and a post-Brando era. Brando delivers a seminal performance here that shook things up mainly because he showed a natural quality to his acting that wasn't common in those days. He wasn't articulate, was very physical and clearly improvised a lot.
As an adept of the Actors Studio he was a practitioner of Method Acting and if ever there was a definitive example of what that can do to a performance, it is shown in Brando's portrayal of Terry Malloy. In a story…
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
On the Waterfront is a masterpiece. That much anyone can be sure of as it concludes. But just why is it a masterpiece?
As I talked about in my review of Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire, that film dealt with the conflict between the old Hollywood romanticism and the incoming age of realism, where stories weren't overplayed, merely depicted. In many ways, On the Waterfront is a spiritual successor to that film, arriving after that conflict is over.
Seeing On the Waterfront in historical relevance with the other Best Picture nominees only seems to make it stand out more. Here, Italian Neo-Realism arrives to Hollywood. On the Waterfront may have aspects of it that…
Some people just have a face that sticks in your mind.
I'm eternally grateful to Elia Kazan for casting exceptionally handsome leading men in his films: James Dean, Gregory Peck, and my all-time favorite, Marlon Brando. In A Streetcar Named Desire Brando displayed such raw sex appeal and naturalism that I keep forgetting that I didn't like the film. But On the Waterfront is (finally!) a film starring Brando I can truly enjoy.
It's such a pity that he didn't seem to give a damn about his career. One look at his filmography and you wonder what the hell he was thinking, squandering his looks and talent all those years. Thankfully, On The Waterfront is utterly gripping from start to…
In the canon of movie masterpieces On the Waterfront stands alone. Elia Kazan's personal fury is manifested onto the screen, but with the restrained passion and technical dexterity of a virtuoso. Marlon Brando's performance was such a giant leap in progress that it ushered in a new industry standard. The maze of rooftops, half-empty bars and brooding, smoke-swept streets as seen through the caustic eye of cinematographer Boris Kaufman are as intuitively truthful as the deepening creases on Brando's brow. All of this is wrapped up (and inextricably linked to) Leonard Bernstein's brash and moving score, which at turns claps and bangs with the fiery exuberance of youth, then softens with the eye-stinging maturity of an old man looking back.…
Can one simultaneously love and detest a work of art?
I was surrounded by both of these feelings when watching Elia Kazan's 1954 film On the Waterfront. It often is put on lists of top films of all time, and I do think it is fantastically done, but the message of this movie deeply troubled me.
To expand on this, let me explain the history of this film a bit. Elia Kazan was at one time close friends with the playwright Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman et al) in the late forties. They often came to each other for advice and even collaborated on occasion.
Cut to the early 1950s in America. The Red Scare was in full swing…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Sam Spiegel wanted Frank Sinatra to play Terry Malloy. But Elia Kazan dug his heels in. He wanted someone else. And so in 1954, Marlon Brando was cast – and American cinematic acting took a great leap forward. Brando had been on screen before and the Method had been around since the 40’s. But in Streetcar Brando is so electrifying he throws the film off balance. It is after all meant to be Blanche’s story not Stanley’s. But here Kazan surrounded him with heavy hitters: Steiger, Cobb and Malden; and an unknown in Eva Marie Saint. And it worked. Something new and exciting emerged in On the Waterfront. It is a landmark, an important film. A moment of innovation that…
This film was already amazing, a rarefied opportunity to view it on the big screen cemented the work's importance. Though the "contender" speech will always reign supreme, I was particularly struck this time around by the moment between Brando and St. Marie with the pigeons and the bird wiring. It is cinematic sweetness and heartbreak colliding with awe.
Marlon Brando was the only creator actor.
On the Waterfront's bold theatricality, impassioned performances, and gorgeous staging make for a wonderful (if unconventional?) Best Picture winner. It's the type of film that deserves multiple viewings before further comment---it blindsided me despite being an all time classic.
I thought it was good - features the "I coulda been a contender' speech. Which is very well delivered.
It's really hard for me to put into words how amazing this film is, how much it moves me and how perfect it is in every way. So I'll just say that "On the Waterfront" is the reason I love cinema.
One of the greatest films ever made, Marlon Brando one of the greatest film actors ever just brings this work of art to life. The movie is a timeless classic!
ALTHUSSER WAS RIGHT
IDEOLOGY MIRROR OF MAN'S IMAGINED RELATION TO MEANS OF PRODUCTION AND NOT ACTUAL RELATION
UNION THEN IMAGINED RELATION
ALLOWS FOR KAZAN TO PREDICATE ANTI-LEFT VIEWS AS NATURAL STATE OF CORRUPTION RATHER THAN CONSTRUCTED SYSTEM OF SOCIAL RELATIONS ALWAYS ALREADY ENMESHED IN CAPITAL
DONE BAD THINGS
DONE BAD WORK
DONE BAD IDEA
REPRESENTS BLEAK MOMENT IN WESTERN HISTORY
STILL FUCKING REMARKABLE.
I feel like I'm in this very weird position where I found the emotional narrative and characters absolutely riveting, but the actual plot intensely boring.
So every scene that didn't revolve around the romance, I would zero in on the basic need or meaning of the action - he's walking to save them, he's giving a chance at redemption - and I would be enthralled. But as soon as I thought about the actual union stuff, I would fight to zone back in. And the 15 or so minutes that Brando wasn't onscreen just felt like a waste.
Everyone is so good in this movie, but now I finally understand why Brando has the reputation he has - there is…
True masterpiece of American cinema. Some impact has faded on this rewatch.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!