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…
Out of all of the 'great American pictures' long accepted into the cultural canon, ON THE WATERFRONT may actually be the most smug and self-satisfied. Seriously.
Kazan was crafting a careful allegory/justification for his role in HUAC, as we all know, but what seems to be forgotten is just how sanctimonious it is to turn one's past misgivings into an act of near-spiritual heroism, as Kazan does with Brando's character.
(the movie's obviously unbelievable and all that but I needed to get that spiel out anyway)
Great performances and story.
Noir November (Film #23)
"He tries to act tough, but there's a look in his eye."
Marlon Brando stars in Elia Kazan's unforgettable 1954 epic On The Waterfront. On The Waterfront won a total of eight Academy Awards and was nominated for a total of twelve. And yes, it was definitely deserving. On The Waterfront tells the story of Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), an ex-prize fighter who lives and works on the gritty docks. Terry runs errands for the corrupt Johnny Friendly, who controls the dockers union with thugish force. Terry's brother Charley is Johnny Friendly's right hand man which makes Kelly feel he has to follow his brother's lead and respect Friendly. One night while running an errand for…
An absolute masterpiece that is worth seeing if only for the scene with Brando and Steiger in the back of the car. Elia Kazan justiying why he named names and grassed on his colleagues in the film industry to the HUAC. (Watch High Noon straight after to feel clean)
this film is perfect in every way
An absolute stone-cold Steve Austin classic. Brilliantly acted, directed, shot, edited, written, scored, production designed, sound mixed... everything! Round 2 of "Eva Marie Saint is my everything"! Greek tragedy mixed with Sirkian melodrama. The birth of the 'Method' meets old Hollywood acting styles. I never wanted it to end.
I was struck this time by the iron spikes so often threatening Terry. And by Saint's frailness.
just became one of my favorites
so influential on filmmaking, specifically the use of sound as an element of storytelling
Decades Ago Classics 1954, 3/3
Silly me, all this time I actually thought Sly had some tricks of his own when he did ROCKY. Turns out it was really nothing but a complete remix of ON THE WATERFRONT; don't know why I'm surprised though.
This film is rock solid, impossible to resist emotionally, though too story-oriented for my "taste" in rocks and metals. It's silver - as shining as the silver screen.
Marlon Brando, though, arguably the greatest actor who ever lived. Of all the cliches one can cough up, that's one of the true ones.
Though it takes away none of the merits of the film, I was personally annoyed somewhat by the element of hypocricy in the story…
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most recent update - Friday, November 22, 2014
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