Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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…
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…
Why Marlon Brando is the Best Actor in the World?
Watch On The Waterfront, you will know why.
Story of Terry who could have been a contender, but now toils for a boss Johnny Friendly on the waterfront. Terry is guilt-stricken when one of his worker friend is murdered with his help to lure him on the roof. But he fall's in love with Eddie who is the dead friends sister and starts to question his conscience. He gets in deep when his brother Charlie is killed for not killing him. He then tries to crush Friendly's empire by testifying.
One of exciting ting about this film is that it has a simple yet flowing screenplay with exceptional camera work.…
"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, let's face it. It was you, Charley."
There is so much I want to say about Elia Kazan 'On The Waterfront', so I gonna break it down in segments..
If anyone had any doubt of Marlon Brando acting at any point, just watch his interpretation of Terry Malloy, using the Stanislavski's system of acting, you will see there is Brando and then, there is the rest.
Eva Marie Saint, on her screen debut was…
Once upon a time there was a man who made a method. He taught his method to a woman. When Marlon met this woman, he learned to act most methodically. For Marlon, the method mostly meant making faces, emoting from memory, and mugging for the camera.
Did I mention this is a method movie?
This is an undeniable cinematic classic, and one of Marlon Brando's career-defining performances.
I loved this movie a lot because of the reality showed.One of the Marlon Brando's best.Worth of watching 2 times..
There are some moments in here that show their age but these moments are vastly overshadowed by every single moment Brando is on screen
In Which I Blab About One of My Favorite Movies.
Actually, usually the one I pick when people ask for my favorite. It’s a close race between that, In the Heat of the Night, and High Plains Drifter.
So, 1954’s On the Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, and a very young Eva Marie Saint, is pretty well acknowledged to be one of the greatest films of all time. I think I was fourteen when I saw it for the first time, and it took several tries before I actually saw it from the beginning (now, I can’t imagine watching it without hearing those first few notes of Leonard Bernstein’s wonderful…
"Hey, you wanna hear my philosophy of life? Do it to him before he does it to you."
What does "work" mean in today's society? People throw around terms like "hard-working" to describe themselves nowadays, but it makes me think what is meant by using that term. "Hard work" means something infinitely different nowadays than it did 10, 20, 30 years ago and on and on. Today, we have amazing technological innovations that make life so much easier than our parents' generation and it makes me question what "hard work" really means in today's age.
I think many of us forget that this country was built on the backs of poorly educated laborers, mostly immigrants, who had little in the…
Breaking into the teens on my American Film Institute list, I watched my second Marlon Brando film on the list - #19 On the Waterfront. This film received 12 Academy Award nominations, winning 8 including Best Picture and Best Actor. I had VERY high expectations of the film.
The film centers around the New York Waterfront and the union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) who controls it. Terry (Brando) is a dockworker and former boxer whose brother Charley (Rod Steiger) is one of Friendly's right hand-men. When Terry unintentionally leads another dockworker to his death, he is confronted by Edie (Eva Marie Saint) and urged to testify regarding the actions of Mr. Friendly. Terry then has to choose between…
2 1/2 stars only because of Brando. Streetcar named Desire was way, way better.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Friday, November 22, 2014
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that allows users to…