For when that friend asks you to introduce him to some really great films. This list is not meant to…
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…
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…
Flawless. It's just essential; and in my opinion Brando's best performance. A movie of a lifetime.
Got to see this in theaters tonight. Aside from the meth-head, ugly-ass, annoying fucking couple who talked THE ENTIRE FILM and I had to cuss out 5 times, it was a great film to finally see on the big screen.
P.S. the TCM Ben Mankiewicz intro and outro with history and trivia about the film and characters was so neat.
Watched on the big screen as part of the monthly TCM Presents series.
I coulda been a contender... I coulda been somebody...Instead of a bum... which is what I am...
Incredibly shot final scene.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
First things first: Brando is every bit as commanding and fascinating as I'd heard. Early in the film, he's approached by a couple of investigators. One stands facing him; the other, behind. When Brando addresses the one behind, he turns to his right -- facing away from the camera.
This isn't something that really stands out until you consider that in the posters for both Avengers movies, Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans are both shown with their faces revealed, despite their characters being masked in action sequences. Why? Because actors and their agents want to make sure that at all times, the audience sees the face of the star (or star-to-be). No one would turn away from the camera…
Just recently saw this again but for the first time on the big screen presented by TCM. The big screen presentation really added to the film and actually made me love it even more than I previously had. The music was a lot louder which brought more intensity to the emotional scenes. The real life locations made the environment surrounding the characters made the world feel more lived in you could really feel the grit. On this rewatch I noticed just how great the character acting choices where. All of the workers looked like hard working guys and all of the gangsters looked like old school mob guys.
On the waterfront is one of my favorite films of all time…
8.8 out of 10
After the death of a man, Terry must choose between keeping a sealed lip or telling the truth to unveil his boss with his corrupt ways. Highly recommended.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…