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:
8.3/10   81,461 votes »
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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 22 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
My extended review of the film See more (264 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 
 
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:
Shortly after the film's debut in 1954, the AFL-CIO expelled the East Coast longshoremen's union because it was still run by the mob.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Obvious dummy being thrown off the roof in the opening scene.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Johnny:[to Terry] You take it from here, Slugger.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Here Comes the BrideSee more »

FAQ

What's that hook that Terry carries around with him?
When do the events in "On the Waterfront" take place?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
60 out of 107 people found the following review useful.
My extended review of the film, 9 August 2005
Author: sol- from Perth, Australia

My comments here are written in light of having watching the film for a second time. While I liked 'On the Waterfront' a lot the first time round, I appreciated it even more the second time. There are some slight negative points - the music is at times overbearing and the religious side it tries to bring forth does not quite work - but there is not anything significant that I would flaw the film on.

The acting is definitely the film's strongest point. Marlon Brando gives and intense and realistic performance. It is not just because of the famous car scene, or the well-known scene in the bar with Saint, that makes his performance great. It is everything that he does throughout, in particular the facial expressions that he captures on his face. Towards the end there is a scene in which he stands alone and just stares at his fellow workers. His expression is unflinching without being unrealistic. Eva Marie Saint is quite good too, also giving off a performance in which her face is central. However, there is less to talk about with her than there is about the supporting actors.

When I first viewed the film, it was Karl Malden's acting that stood out the most to me. His performance and character are powerful, however on a second viewing it seems a bit over-the-top, as does the whole religious side of the film in which he is involved. On the other hand, Lee J. Cobb is brilliant as Johnny Friendly, providing a fierce performance while not letting his character turn into a stereotype of evil. Then there is Rod Steiger, whose acting, after only one viewing of the film, I did not take much notice of. He is hardly there, and until the point when he instructed to talk with Brando, he does not have much to do. Indeed, Rod Steiger has very few good scenes in the film, however he is excellent in those scenes. It is incredibly realistic acting, the way he interacts with his brother, and the way he is torn between the mob and his family.

The next thing to mention is that this film could never be as effective in colour. The bleakness of the black and white prints is used well by Kazan. There are many shots of the characters, which just show their heads against a white sky: a bleak white sky. We cannot even see if it is cloudy or sunny day. The sky is as plain and as barren as what the future holds for each of the characters. Leonard Bernstein's music deserves a mention too. It is an electrifying score and often fits the actions very well. It is at times a tad overbearing (note the scene where Brando goes to Saint's house) as it has a tendency to over-ride the dialogue and the action. However, this does not subtract much from the overall picture.

The sound recording is very realistic. The dock noises can often be heard, which helps to set up the waterfront atmosphere, and there is one scene in which the noise of a ship plays a key element in a conversation between Saint and Brando. In that conversation it is metaphoric, and it could even be argued that it is only heard through perceptual subjectivity. The other noises are sharply recorded too, such as banging at the basement of the church. The photography is excellent, using shadows very well to set up the atmosphere, all of which is captured well with some glides and tilts.

One can praise a film for many different reasons, but it is not worth much unless one can explain what the film is about. I would say that 'On the Waterfront' is a drama about struggling against the restrictions of society, and of what it takes to stand up for what one believes in. However, I also see it as an exciting thriller about fighting corruption and the harshness of stevedore life in a community that is effectively run by gangsters. Perhaps it is about love and how relationships develop, and the events that help them to grow strong. I think different viewers will take some different out of it. And it is perhaps that, more than the artistic and cinematic qualities of the film, which makes it a great piece of cinema.

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