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On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  22 June 1954 (Japan)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 92,737 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 275 user | 129 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.



(screenplay), (based upon an original story by), 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #124 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Henning ...
Kayo Dugan
James Westerfield ...
Tony Galento ...
Tami Mauriello ...
John F. Hamilton ...
'Pop' Doyle (as John Hamilton)
John Heldabrand ...
Rudy Bond ...
Don Blackman ...
Arthur Keegan ...
Abe Simon ...


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. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A story as warm and moving as GOING MY WAY...but with brass knuckles! See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 June 1954 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Hook  »

Box Office


$910,000 (estimated)


$9,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many real longshoremen from Hoboken, New Jersey were used as extras. See more »


Toward the end of the film as Terry is walking back into the work building, water puddles on the ground appear and disappear between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Johnny: [to Terry] You take it from here, Slugger.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a bamboo-type mat background. See more »


Referenced in ER: Sticks and Stones (1999) See more »


Here Comes the Bride
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Quite simply a classic
16 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gripping, powerful drama of corrupt unions for dock workers and how one man Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) fights back.

This movie is a definite must-see. The story is pretty simple and has been done before but the script is superb and all the actors are at the height of their powers. Brando is unbelievable as Malloy--he portrays his innocence and hurt so easily--I actually started to get a lump in my throat when he comes to grips about the corruption. Rod Steiger is great in a small role as his brother. The taxicab sequence between him and Brando has become a legend--rightfully. Lee J. Cobb is frightening as the leader of it all. Eva Marie Saint (in her first theatrical role) is gorgeous and just great as a woman who falls in love with Brando. The scenes between them are incredible. There's also superb direction by Elia Kazan--this is possibly his best work. The only debit here is Karl Malden as the priest--he overplays it way too much and got on more nerves. But that's about it.

This movie is one of those rare instances where everything clicked together perfectly. A HUGE hit in its day. Don't miss this one!

66 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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