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On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  22 June 1954 (Japan)
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 91,191 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 276 user | 128 critic | 10 from

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 250 Movies #123 | Won 8 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 7 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 <>

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?


According to Marlon Brando's friend, Carlo Fiore, and his reminiscences in his book "Bud: The Brando I Knew", it was Fiore who helped make some key decisions about the famous taxi cab scene. It wasn't working to Brando's satisfaction, and the actor was becoming increasingly frustrated at being unable to find the truth about the scene. Fiore told him that having a gun pulled on him by his brother would hit a bullshit note with Terry, and that shocked disbelief that his brother would do such a thing would be the most appropriate response. Brando then went into a stormy conference with Elia Kazan and Sam Spiegel before nailing the scene. Afterwards Kazan drew Fiore aside and said "Next time you get an idea about a scene, bring it to me, not Marlon, okay?" There is some doubt about the veracity of this story however as one look at the original script reveals that shocked surprise was Terry's reaction all along. See more »


Towards the end of the film when Terry confronts John Friendly at the little club house on the river, a Coke machine on the porch appears and disappears between cuts. 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 Everybody Loves Raymond: I Love You (1996) See more »


Here Comes the Bride
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Protecting All That's Tragic
27 September 2005 | by (Manhattan) – See all my reviews

"Im just a bum sitting in a motor home on a film set, Brando said, and they come looking for ZEUS".

I think Brando was a guy who was perfect in the moment. All his power and shortcomings can be revealed in a single sentence. Other's might have been great and still more will be. But there's just something about him.

For me, Brando has always been the ultimate male. Simply put, bruiting desire. Brando represents the very definition of method acting, even though he was said to have hated the phrase. Being able to reach inside yourself and pull something out that kicks everyone in the ass. He was truly one of a kind. They say sometimes beautiful people are born under a dark cloud. I think Brando was born under a rain of thunderbolts. He was powerful and tragic.

On The Waterfront is basically a showcase for Brando. Everything coming together. This film is truly one for the ages.

I guess the only thing really wrong with this life is time.

104 of 150 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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