Rarely does a film produce itself as perfect. “On the Waterfront” is a great example of this notion. This movie has outstanding acting performances, great music, amazing direction and scenery, and has a brilliant story to go along. There is nothing wrong or anything that is bad with the movie whatsoever, it’s just amazing. “On the Waterfront” is a timeless classic that needs to be seen that delivers a strong moral value at the end, and it’s one of cinema’s greatest triumphs in film.
The plot of the film centers around a young man named Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) who is itinerant with performing favors for the mob on the shores of New Jersey. On a dark night, the mob gets rid of one of Terry’s best friends, named Joey, and no one confesses about who killed Joey. The reason behind this is because the mob leader, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), is the main boss of everyone working on the waterfront, and if anybody squeals, they’ll suffer the same fate as Joey. Meanwhile, the death of Joey gathers the attention of his sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint), and the local priest, Father Barry (Karl Malden), and they want an investigation on who killed Joey. But everyone keeps silent, as they fear Johnny Friendly. The rest of the film deals with Terry struggling to tell the truth, even at the cost of his life. This leads to some interesting surprises and a thrilling climax, which brings the movie to one of the best finales ever in cinema.
Everything about this movie is simply amazing. The acting is superb and very fantastic. Everyone who acted in this film made the characters believable. You believe that Marlon Brando is Terry Malloy, a young man who is troubled with what’s going on in the real world. You believe that Eva Marie Saint is a young girl trying to find out who killed her brother. The actors and actresses in the movie are so likeable that their roles will be remembered for quite some time. “On the Waterfront” also excels in its direction, and it comes from Elia Kazan, who, without him, this film would not have been the all-time classic that it is. Kazan made a film that truly visualizes the great magnitude of cinema by detailing the actors with wonderful attention, and making the action flow smoothly. Top that with some of the greatest cinematography ever, and you get a brilliant looking picture worth your time. And of course, the music that’s portrayed on screen is absolutely astounding. Leonard Bernstein composes a film score that’s powerful and strong enough to get your attention. I could not find anything that was a major letdown with this movie whatsoever, it’s that remarkable of a film.
Overall, “On the Waterfront” is one of the greatest, if not one of the best films, of all time. It definitely is a masterpiece if there ever was one. I highly recommend this movie, because its shows how to deal with larger figures and to cope with yourself.