Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Review of "On the Waterfront," starring Marlon Brando

Review of

On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando

Five out of five stars

 Given the gritty, hard facts of life presented in this movie and the superb performances by all the players, especially Marlon Brando and Karl Malden, it is easy to see why it won so many Academy Awards. Like many great movies, it was a surprise success, there was also a great deal of controversy. Since it depicted the union of stevedores as being controlled by a ruthless organized crime syndicate, there were many voices of protest from the actual leaders of unions.

 Marlon Brando plays Terry Malloy, a former prizefighter that now works unloading cargo ships. The local mob completely controls the union and they will tolerate no dissent, they decide if a man works or not. When Malloy’s friend is killed and he starts becoming involved with the friend’s sister, Malloy must decide whether to continue to go along with mob rule or to become a government witness.

 It is my personal opinion that the best performance is by Karl Malden as the local priest that stands behind the men that want to get the crooks out of the union. His passion and principles provide a role model for the others to do the right thing. This movie provides one of the all-time best lines, “I coulda been a contender.” This is a movie that you watch every few years to see how actors truly play their roles and say their lines.

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