Drifter Axel North has just arrived in New York City, having traveled from city to city throughout the country. Given the name Charlie Malick as a contact by an acquaintance named Ed Faber, Axel is able to get a job working as a stevedore in Charlie's gang on the dockyards. Little did Axel know that Charlie is corrupt, requiring payola for that job, and is a racist. It is solely because of the color of his skin that Charlie hates his fellow gang boss, Tommy Tyler, a black man. It is also because he can see that Axel is a little wet behind the ears that Tommy tries to befriend him to get him out from under Charlie's thumb. Due solely to the reason that he is a drifter, Axel is slow to warm and open up to Tommy, eventually providing some basic information: that he is originally from Gary, Indiana, that his real surname is Nordmann, and that the only person he has ever really loved in his life was his older brother Andy, whose death exacerbated the already strained relationship he has ...Written by
Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, who play husband and wife in this film, played husband and wife again in the classic "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961) and "Buck and the Preacher" (1972). See more »
When Alex is fighting Charlie and they end up on the tracks near the end of the rail car Alex picks up a hunk of pipe that bends while he is swinging it. Charlie then hits him a couple of times in the gut. When Alex falls on the ground, it is obvious he has padding under his jacket to absorb the blows which disappears in the next shot. See more »
Alex North (John Cassavetes) has problems in relationship with his father and flees home to join the army, from where he very soon deserts and comes to New York intending to start a new life, using as an advantage the fact that nobody knows about his past. He finds a job at the Waterfront, where he meets Tommy Tyler (Sydney Poitier) a lively young man, who is happily married and is a living contrast to Cassavetes' sad and unhappy character. They very quickly become good friends and Tommy does his best to help his friend. The only problem is that their superior at work, a tough worker Charles Malik (Jack Warden) is sort of envious of their friendship as well as Tommy's constant happy disposition and success in personal life. He really manages to make their life difficult when he comes to know the truth about Alex's past.
A good drama skillfully directed by Academy Award nominated director-producer Martin Ritt (The Hud) and featuring wonderful performances from Sydney Poitier and Jack Warden. 7/10
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