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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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On the Waterfront 
On the Waterfront review
3/4 stars

The picture may have one of the best casting and direction, in my opinion it could have been better if it were not dated, had a better leading lady and having a memorable score. No questions asked, Marlon Brando delivers as Terry Malloy, the sensitive dockworker and brother of Charley (Rod Steiger). Charley is connected with the malevolent mob/union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cob). Edie Doyle is the sister of murdered popular dockworker Joy Doyle. Back then it was challenging to get a job as presented on the film. One of the memorable quotes from Terry: "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum, which is what I am."

If only the character of Terry have been developed more, maybe create flash backs of his fights, the reason for him working as a dockworker instead of a prized fighter. Possibilities would have been endless because of choices; the film doesn’t quite delve into this. If the film was created today (or even in the 90’s) then the movie would have failed because of Terry Malloy’s confrontation with Friendly. Back then his deeds were permissible. Eva Marie Saint did a good job, but is just overshadowed every time by Brando’s exceptional performance. The background music just didn’t do it for me. A few factors that could have been improved upon that would have made this, overall, a classic for me. The extra features enlightened me. On the Waterfront is an awesome landmark for acting film with themes of humanity, forgiveness and corruption nevertheless.


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