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1954 movie, in which a young dock worker takes on the Mob-connected boss
On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando, and features Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning and Eva Marie Saint in her film debut. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. The film was suggested by "Crime on the Waterfront" by Malcolm Johnson, a series of articles published in November-December 1948 in the New York Sun which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, but the screenplay by Budd Schulberg is directly based on his own original story. The film focuses on union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen, while detailing widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Cast and Crew

Marlon BrandoTerry Malloy
Elia Kazandirector

Video Products

On the Waterfront (Special Edition), 23 Oct 2001


On the Waterfront (1954)
    by Jon Osborne, Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video, 2001
Instead of representing the workers as collective brokers, union managements had become self-serving, ultimately controlling the workers for their own benefit and maintaining that control with great brutality. Of course, government coercion made this possible in the first place by creating labor monopolies which workers had no choice but to join and between which there was little competition. The ultimate triumph of the hero over this situation is very satisfying, but the underlying legislative causes of the problem are never addressed.


On the Waterfront - Trailer, 28 Jul 1954

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "On the Waterfront" as of 25 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.