Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront (Special Edition)

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb and Karl Malden. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. It is based on a series of articles written in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson.

The film received eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director. It is Leonard Bernstein's only original film score not adapted from a stage production with songs.

* Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy
* Rod Steiger as Charley Malloy
* Eva Marie Saint as Edie Doyle
* Lee J. Cobb as Johnny Friendly
* Karl Malden as Father Barry
* Pat Henning as Kayo Dugan
* Ben Wagner as Joey Doyle
* Fred Gwynne as Slim (uncredited)
* Martin Balsam as Gillette (uncredited)
* Pat Hingle as 'bartender' (uncredited)

On the Waterfront was based on a 24-part series of articles in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson, "Crime on the Waterfront". The series won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. The stories detailed widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfront of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

To add realism, On the Waterfront was filmed over 36 days on-location in Hoboken, New Jersey (the docks, workers' slum dwellings, bars, littered alleys, rooftops). Furthermore, some of the labor boss's chief bodyguards/goons in the film (Abe Simon as Barney, Tony Galento as Truck and Tami Mauriello as Tullio) were real-life, former professional heavyweight boxers.
Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy and Eva Marie Saint as Edie Doyle in the film's trailer.

In On the Waterfront, protagonist Terry Malloy's (Brando's) fight against corruption was in part modeled after whistle-blowing longshoreman Anthony DiVincenzo, who testified before a real-life Waterfront Commission on the facts of life on the Hoboken Docks and had suffered a degree of ostracism for his deed. DiVincenzo sued and settled, many years after, with Columbia Pictures over the appropriation of what he considered his story. DiVincenzo claimed to have recounted his story to screenwriter Budd Schulberg during a month-long session of waterfront barroom meetings. Schulberg attended Di Vincenzo's waterfront commission testimony every day during the hearing.

Karl Malden's character of Father Barry was based on the real-life "waterfront priest" Father John M. Corridan, S.J., a Jesuit priest, graduate of Regis High School who operated a Roman Catholic labor school on the west side of Manhattan. Father Corridan was extensively interviewed by Budd Schulberg (who wrote the foreword to a biography of Father Corridan, Waterfront Priest by Allen Raymond).

On the Waterfront is also the only movie in which we can see the Andrea Doria, the Italian liner that sank in 1956 after a collision in the Atlantic Ocean: in a scene, Marlon Brando watches the ship as she descends the Hudson River.

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