On the Waterfront

Watch On the Waterfront

"The man lived by the jungle law of the docks!"
  • NR
  • 1954
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 8.1  (163,646)
  • 91

On the Waterfront is a classic American film directed by Elia Kazan and released in 1954. It stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, and Lee J. Cobb, with Brando giving one of the greatest performances in cinema history. Set in Hoboken, New Jersey, On the Waterfront tells the story of Terry Malloy (Brando), a former boxer and longshoreman who becomes embroiled in the corrupt practices of his union boss Johnny Friendly (Cobb). Terry's life changes when he falls in love with Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint), the sister of a man who was killed by Friendly's men.

The plot revolves around Terry's struggle to do what is right in the face of immense pressure from his peers and the corrupt union leaders who have a grip on the waterfront. Terry must decide whether to remain loyal to the union and his friends or to speak out against the wrongdoing that he sees around him.

The film's message is a powerful indictment of corruption, injustice, and the abuses of power that take place in many industries in America. The characters in On the Waterfront are complex and multi-dimensional, and the film explores themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and redemption.

Marlon Brando's performance as Terry Malloy is arguably his greatest work. Brando perfectly captures the inner turmoil of a man caught between opposing forces, struggling to find his own path in life. His performance is raw, intense, and deeply moving.

Karl Malden portrays Father Barry, a crusading priest who provides Terry with the moral courage to do what is right. Lee J. Cobb is brilliantly sinister as Johnny Friendly, the union boss who will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on the waterfront. Eva Marie Saint shines as Edie Doyle, a young woman who is searching for the truth about her brother's death.

On the Waterfront is a visually stunning film, with beautiful cinematography that captures the grit and grime of the docks and the stark beauty of the New Jersey landscape. The film's score, composed by Leonard Bernstein, perfectly complements the story, adding emotional depth and intensity to the already powerful drama.

The film was controversial at the time of its release, as it was widely seen as a commentary on the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigations that were taking place in Hollywood at the time. Elia Kazan, the director of On the Waterfront, had testified before HUAC and named names of colleagues who were suspected Communists. Many in Hollywood saw the film as Kazan's attempt to justify his actions and to elicit sympathy from the public.

Despite the controversy, On the Waterfront was a critical and commercial success, winning eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Brando), and Best Supporting Actress (Saint). The film's enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless themes and unforgettable performances.

In conclusion, On the Waterfront is a landmark film that has rightfully earned its place in cinematic history. Its powerful story, unforgettable performances, and stunning visuals have influenced generations of filmmakers and continue to resonate with audiences today. If you haven't seen this classic movie, make sure to add it to your watch list.

On the Waterfront is a 1954 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1 and a MetaScore of 91.

On the Waterfront
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (163,646)
  • Metascore