On the Waterfront Poster

Release Date: 1954

DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2001

Not Yet Rated|1 hr 48 min

Plot Summary
Dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) had been an up-and-coming boxer until powerful local mob boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) persuaded him to throw a fight. When a longshoreman is murdered before he can testify about Friendly's control of the Hoboken waterfront, Terry teams up with the dead man's sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint) and the streetwise priest Father Barry (Karl Malden) to testify himself, against the advice of Friendly's lawyer, Terry's older brother Charley (Rod Steiger).

Cast: Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Leif Erickson, Pat Henning, James Westerfield

Director: Elia Kazan

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Keywords: Brooding, Sister, Underdog, Transformation, Rivalry, Gritty, 1950s

Ratings & Reviews

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  • This brutal, violently realistic drama, set against the sordid background of the New York waterfront, packs a terrific wallop that results in topflight entertainment. show more

  • The acting and the best dialogue passages have an impact that has not dimmed; it is still possible to feel the power of the film and of Brando and Kazan, who changed American movie acting forever. show more

  • The chance to watch a four-star classic the way it was meant to be seen -- fresh print, big screen -- is so rare as to be worth the trip. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Film and British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1954)
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture)
Winner Cinematography (Black-and-White)
Winner Directing
Winner Cinematography - Black and White
Winner Writing (Story and Screenplay)
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Art Direction (Black-and-White)
Winner Film Editing
Winner Best Motion Picture