Monday, July 23, 2012

Movie of the Week – On the Waterfront

This week’s movie is On the Waterfront (1954).

The crime drama is about Terry Malloy, a former prize-fighter who has a crisis of conscious when a friend of his is killed by the corrupt union boss that controls the waterfront. Terry rustles with whether or not he should stand up against the man he works for and the corruption of the system. It is directed by one of the great directors of the era Elia Kazan (who also directed Gentleman’s Agreement, A Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden, and A Face in the Crowd). Kazan worked with composer Leonard Bernstein, cinematographer Boris Kaufman and art director Richard Day on the film. On the Waterfront has a wonderful cast, all of which give fantastic performances. It stars Marlon Brando and features Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger in support. It won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Art Direction, Cinematography, Supporting Actress, and Leading Actor. On the Waterfront, along with being one of the greatest from of the 1950s, is probably best known for Brando’s performance, which many consider to be the best of his career. To some extent, the film could be considered part of the gangster genre, as it deals with a mafia-like figure controlling the waterfront. However, Brando’s Terry does not seem like a typical gangster genre protagonist, as there is no rise to power and fall. The film is much more a character piece looking at a man struggling with peer pressure and his own morals. He is an anti-hero who ends up being very heroic. It is a must-see for those who enjoy great character pieces and those looking to watch all the great American films in cinema history. Check out the trailer.

Available on DVD and Streaming

No comments:

Post a Comment