Day 273 – On the Waterfront


Movie Title: On the Waterfront

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home


On the Waterfront is a movie that single handed turned people against unions with its tale of dockside corruption and organized crime. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) is a semi-washed up boxer that makes ends meet by working as a longshoremen. He raises his own pigeons in a coop for a hobby. At the beginning of the movie, Terry unwittingly sets up Joey Doyle to get worked over by the mob. Joey Doyle swiftly takes a long fall of a tall roof. The waterfront crime commission sets eyes on Terry as a suspect. At the same time he is being pulled in all directions by the workers around the docks.

Terry falls for Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint) and the local priest Father Barry (Karl Malden) pull Terry Malloy toward testifying against the local crime syndicate. At the same time, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) the crime boss running the union takes special interest in Terry and tries to bring him deeper into the organized crime running the waterfront. Charley Malloy (Rod Steiger) is Terry’s brother and he is Johnny Friendly’s right hand man. He uses Terry to try and ingratiate himself further with Johnny Friendly.

Terry Malloy is torn between both world’s. He wants to improve his life and the working conditions. He knows what he is doing is wrong, but he doesn’t want to be viewed as a snitch. The movie also pairs well with High Noon as being fairly allegorical for the persecution faced by suspected communists in Hollywood. Elia Kazan, the director of the movie, was no stranger to that type of investigation.


On the Waterfront is a masterpiece with great performances. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Death of Stalin (2018)

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