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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…
It's hard for me to get behind this film, which I read as a call-to-action to cleanse unions (and by extension, leftist politics) of corrupting influences. Watching a film where a man, played with surprisingly quiet passion by Brando, stands up (eventually) to those corrupting influences in risk of his life, his freedom, or his love, watching this knowing that Kazan, perhaps out of spite, perhaps out of cowardice, perhaps both, named names to HUAC, just left me feeling bitter. Reading it instead as a story about rejecting the union entirely would not, of course, make it any better. This is not an atonement; it's just almost a defense.
That it is made with craft, with the shadows of noir…
**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…
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.…
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…
Winner of 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and widely considered by many to be one of the greatest American films ever made, On the Waterfront would've been a delightful cinema for me if I hadn't already seen its Bollywood ripoff numerous times since its release, due to which this one only felt predictable, somewhat boring & not very satisfying.
On the Waterfront tells the story of Terry Malloy, a longshoreman who was once a promising boxer but now only runs errands for his brother, who's the right-hand man of the union boss who controls the waterfront with his mob influence. The plot follows Malloy as he struggles to stand up against the widespread corruption around him and fights for the…
"Hey, you wanna hear my philosophy on life? Do it to him before he does it to you."
1. Brando gives one of the greatest and most influential performances of all time as Terry Malloy, the ex-prizefighter turned longshoreman.
2. What's remarkable about his performance is the way he spoke, acted, and carried himself, void of all those very staged and formal mannerisms that Hollywood actors most often had, felt real to the audience. A lot of people nowadays will view his performance in On the Waterfront and not see what's so great about it; the fact is, they've been desensitized by all of the actors and performances that came afterwards, using the techniques that Brando had used. In…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Marlon Brando is a beast in this. One thing he does really well is build up emotionally. He doesn't jump anywhere. He has a clear, very human reflection of denying and then coming to terms with 'being a bum.' He really turned into an ex-boxer for this. The sense of pride, fixing things with his hands, quick to physical action. But he's layered in this because he's an ex-boxer. He's thrown away his career, he's timid, does what he's told, there's a very sad unexplored side to the character that you can see in his eyes.
that damn brando smirk turning everyone into a brando ho
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Very bracing. Highly moralistic. Seems unsophisticated by today's standards, a bit dated, but as the moral pressure mounts the camera angles get lower, the b&w contrast gets deeper, Bernstein's music gets more emphatic and muscular, and the drama heightens, well, dramatically.
Unusual to have a tragic hero quite as dim as Brando's Terry Malone. His arc is so predictable yet so watchable. Ends up getting worked over within an inch of his life, but still a winner. Let's remember this great story of the regular guy standing up to vested interest, and draw a veil over the distasteful reality of the director's actions in the era of McCarthy.
I'm ashamed to say I've never seen The Godfather... or this, before now. Marlon Brando oozes sex appeal. He's fantastic. I want to see The Godfather so much more now.
Wow, amazing Brando at 29!
Super classic movie .. outstanding performance by Marlon Brando.
Roger Ebert has introduced me to so many great movies that I've missed through his appropriately titled The Great Movies tome, and On the Waterfront is just another one to add to the list. Marlon Brando's performance is layered and moving, bolstering Budd Schulberg's compelling screenplay about mob rule and human decency. It's a little odd that such an introspective movie basically ends in a fist fight, but Schulberg and director Elia Kazan give Brando's former boxer, Terry Malloy, a moment of non-violent triumph.
This film was studied in my high school film appreciation class. (Yes, I can hardly believe it myself!) I must admit that as a teenager, I had only known Marlon Brando from THE WILD ONE and my mother's movie star magazines. Watching ON THE WATERFRONT as schoolwork (we watched it in parts by reels, I remember - no VHS yet!) was the first time I experienced a structured and collective analysis of a film. I remember being shocked by some of the dumbass negative comments I heard from many of my fellow students who treated the film as if they were watching a daytime soap opera. I'm no Kazan fan, but Brando is at his best and the other cast members definitely rise to the occasion.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
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