This past Monday marked what would have been the 100th birthday of Academy Award-winning director Elia Kazan. The director is known for two things: directing such movies as Gentleman's Agreement, A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, and his House Un-American Activities Committee testimony, the latter making him one of the most controversial directors until his demise in 2003. On the Waterfront explained what he felt.
Ex-prizefighter Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) unwittingly becomes a pawn in the murder of longshoreman Joey Doyle. The murder was set up by union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), who has also done other illegal activities, with the help of Terry's brother Charley (Rod Steiger). After finding out about the murder, Terry starts to feel guilty for being part of it. Joey's sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint) and Father Barry (Karl Malden) urge Terry to admit his wrongdoing.
By now, the movie's topic is rather dated but its impact is still as strong as ever. It's no surprise that Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb and Rod Steiger were all nominated for Academy Awards, with Brando and Saint winning (Malden, Cobb and Steiger lost to The Barefoot Contessa's Edmond O'Brien). Their performances are ones that you will remember long after the credits have rolled.
My Rating: *****