Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on the waterfront

a girl needs a gun these days, hey, on account of all the rattlesnakes...

terry malloy (marlon brando) is a bum. having once been a prize fighter, he is now a longshoreman, barely educated, eking out an existence. now, however, he is racked with guilt, having unwittingly participated in luring a man to his death on the behest of johnny friendly (lee j cobb): the local mob boss, whose right-hand man, charley (rod steiger), is terry's older brother.terry becomes even more conflicted when he strikes up a friend ship with edie (eva marie saint), the sister of the murdered man, who is asking questions about his death. still, in this neighbourhood, having a conscience is one thing, but speaking out is another...

another one of my mum's favourites and one of the reasons she fell in love with marlon brando. brando is pretty damn great here and, despite the numerous times it has been lampooned, spoofed and referenced, the scene with rod steiger in the back of a cab, where he gives his "i coulda been a contender" speech is just magnificent. steiger also deserves a rich amount of credit for his contribution.

the film, as a whole, stands up surprisingly well and, writer, budd schulberg's passion and interest in the subject is clear. the world which the film takes place has a depth to it which is matched by the performances and the direction. i have other thoughts, but they would be so spoiler filled, that i shalln't share them.

great stuff.

the dvd is £3.39 from play.com

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