IMDb > On the Waterfront (1954)
On the Waterfront
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On the Waterfront (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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On the Waterfront -- Three Reasons Criterion Trailer for On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront -- An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Overview

User Rating:
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Director:
Writers:
Budd Schulberg (screenplay)
Budd Schulberg (based upon an original story by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for On the Waterfront on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 June 1954 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Man Lived by the Jungle Law of the Docks! See more »
Plot:
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 8 Oscars. Another 30 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A classic for all the right reasons See more (260 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Marlon Brando ... Terry Malloy

Karl Malden ... Father Barry

Lee J. Cobb ... Johnny Friendly

Rod Steiger ... Charley Malloy
Pat Henning ... Kayo Dugan

Leif Erickson ... Glover
James Westerfield ... Big Mac
Tony Galento ... Truck
Tami Mauriello ... Tillio
John F. Hamilton ... 'Pop' Doyle (as John Hamilton)
John Heldabrand ... Mott
Rudy Bond ... Moose
Don Blackman ... Luke
Arthur Keegan ... Jimmy
Abe Simon ... Barney

Eva Marie Saint ... Edie Doyle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Martin Balsam ... Gillette (uncredited)
Dan Bergin ... Sidney (uncredited)
Zachary Charles ... Dues Collector (uncredited)
Jere Delaney ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Robert Downing ... Bit (uncredited)

Michael V. Gazzo ... Bit (uncredited)

Fred Gwynne ... Slim (uncredited)
Thomas Handley ... Tommy Collins (uncredited)
Anne Hegira ... Mrs. Collins (uncredited)

Pat Hingle ... Jocko (uncredited)

Scottie MacGregor ... Mother of a Longshoreman (uncredited)
Barry Macollum ... Johnny's Banker (uncredited)
Tiger Joe Marsh ... Longshoreman (uncredited)
Edward McNally ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Mike O'Dowd ... Specs (uncredited)

Nehemiah Persoff ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Johnny Seven ... Longshoreman (uncredited)

Directed by
Elia Kazan 
 
Writing credits
Budd Schulberg (screenplay)

Budd Schulberg (based upon an original story by)

Malcolm Johnson (suggested by articles by)

Produced by
Sam Spiegel .... producer (as S.P. Eagle)
 
Original Music by
Leonard Bernstein (music by)
 
Cinematography by
Boris Kaufman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Gene Milford (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
 
Makeup Department
Mary Roche .... hair stylist
Fred Carlton Ryle .... makeup supervision (as Fred Ryle)
Bill Herman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
George Justin .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles H. Maguire .... assistant director
Arthur Steckler .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Eddie Barr .... props (uncredited)
Robert Hart .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jim Shields .... sound (as James Shields)
Richard Olson .... sound editor (uncredited)
Ernest Reichert .... sound editor (uncredited)
Evelyn Rutledge .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Howard Block .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Alan Stetson .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anna Hill Johnstone .... wardrobe supervisor
Flo Transfield .... wardrobe mistress
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Ving Hershon .... music editor (uncredited)
Marlin Skiles .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Roberta Hodes .... script supervisor
Samuel Rheiner .... assistant to producer (as Sam Rheiner)
Guy Thomajan .... dialogue supervisor
Roger Donoghue .... boxing coach (uncredited)
Dale Tate .... title designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
108 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Mexico:A | Norway:16 (1954) | South Korea:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1985) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #16916) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Frank Sinatra was originally considered for the role of Terry Malloy. Elia Kazan approached Sinatra about the part but producer Sam Spiegel favored Marlon Brando for his greater pulling power at the box office.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At around 1h 4 mins when the waterfornt crew are in the Longshoreman's Local 374 hut and Johnny Friendly is telling Charlie to sort out Terry, Mac is seen reading and his seating position changes between shots.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Johnny:[to Terry] You take it from here, Slugger.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)See more »
Soundtrack:
Here Comes the BrideSee more »

FAQ

What's that hook that Terry carries around with him?
How does the movie end?
What's all over Terry's left hand when he's in the bar drinking beer with Father Barry?
See more »
23 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
A classic for all the right reasons, 31 March 2008
Author: ExpendableMan from United Kingdom

Watching On The Waterfront nowadays, two scenes stand out head and shoulders above the rest. First is the impassioned speech by Father Barry (Karl Malden) to the gathered dock workers in the hull of a ship where he tries to rally them against the mobsters running their lives. Second is the confrontation between Terry and Charlie Malloy (Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger) in the back of a taxi which ends in one brother pointing a gun at the other and Brando's now legendary "contender speech." Both of them are sequences where the characters do nothing but talk but each is a fine example of what makes On The Waterfront the undeniable classic it is; acting, scripting, cinematography, music, everything fits into one cohesive whole and the end result is a welcome addition to any film collection.

The story here concerns Terry Malloy, a New York shipyard worker who finds his conscience bothering him when one of his friends is murdered. Terry at first is a tough guy with a grim outlook ("you know my philosophy on life, give it to 'em before they give to you") who despite his inner turmoil refuses to confess anything to the Police as it would make him a "rat." However, the arrival of Malden's headstrong Preacher and the victim's innocent sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint in her debut appearance) throws his deaf and dumb world into chaos. Soon, Terry finds himself falling for Edie and the Preacher's words hit home, leaving the angry young dockworker to question what's really right. The mob meanwhile aren't too happy about Terry's UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP and begin to pile on the pressure, especially his older brother Charlie who's torn between loyalty to his boss and looking out for his younger sibling. Before anyone can put a lid on things, the dockyard becomes a very tense place to be.

Brando of course puts his heart and soul into his performance. Terry by his very nature isn't one to carry his heart on his sleeve and so the great Method Actor is left to convey his turmoil through body language alone. It is a testament to how good he is that you can tell exactly what Terry is feeling even though he hardly ever expresses it verbally. Instead his shoulders hunch with resigned indignation and his eyes spark with anger, Brando playing the part so well he more or less disappears into the character completely. While he may have taken a lot of the credit however, he is far from the only strong presence in the film as Karl Malden's rock hard Preacher is just as compelling, his depiction of the dignified man of Christ who isn't afraid to drink beer and smoke cigarettes with the Wharf rats being a refreshingly positive portrayal of a Catholic leader. Eva Marie Saint meanwhile puts in a convincing portrayal of Edie, but she is hamstrung a little by some old fashioned writing. Her pursuit of her brother's murderers give her some powerful moments but there are a couple of instances where it becomes all too clear that the part was written by a man. However, she still gives us one of the most touching moments in the film, a confrontation with Terry where most of their chat is disrupted by a tug horn that is achingly sad despite the absence of dialogue.

Acting is only one half of the equation of course and needless to say, the story remains constantly gripping. The murder that opens the film leaves an instant grip on the viewer's attention and as Terry spirals further into an intricate web of half truths, things get incredibly dark. The New York tenement blocks that tower over the proceedings provide an imposing sense of claustrophobia while the rooftops are a smoke laden jungle of chimney stacks and TV aerials. However, if you look closely it becomes apparent that the crew still had some fun with the material and there is some subtle humour to be had - a wedding party degenerating into a brawl and a bar full of panicked customers emptying into the streets followed by a shot of one isolated individual desperately jumping into the bathroom.

All in all therefore, On The Waterfront is a film that is thoroughly deserving of its reputation. Brando excels in his role and heads up a highly talented cast giving it their all. Most of all though, it's an engaging and captivating story of urban paranoia, filled with tough guys spitting out slang in barking New York accents. Think you're a big shot, do ya? Huh? Well do us all a favour and check this one out. Ah enough a youse guys, ged outta here.

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