On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront (1954)

This classic story of Mob informers was based on a number of true stories and filmed on location in and around the docks of New York and New Jersey. Mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) rules the waterfront with an iron… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 23, 2001
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
100%
Flixster
User Score
95%



Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: With his electrifying performance in Elia Kazan's thought-provoking, expertly constructed melodrama, Marlon Brando redefined the possibilities of acting for film and helped permanently alter the cinematic landscape.

Kate Cameron
New York Daily News

Kazan over-emphasized the last sequence in the film, but on the whole, his fine direction shows in the strength and power of the dramatic action on the screen.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific.

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Tony Sloman
Radio Times

On the surface it's an extremely well-crafted and entertaining drama, but peel away some layers and you'll discover an apologia for informing.

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TIME Magazine

On the Waterfront has a script that is a work of love and shows it.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

It's pretty electrifying.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

A powerful watch, thanks largely to an incredible cast, Leonard Bernstein's strong score, and a handful of iconic scenes, none better than the moving "I coulda been a contender" sequence.

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Variety Staff
Variety

Under Elia Kazan's direction, Marlon Brando puts on a spectacular show, giving a fascinating, multi-faceted performance as the uneducated dock walloper and former pug, who is basically a softie with a special affection for his rooftop covey of pigeons.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

You miss this, you're buyin' a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a watershed moment in cinema history; it remains one of the greatest films of the 1950s

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More reviews for On the Waterfront

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
All these years later Elia Kazan's film about mob corruption in the dock workers' unions is still poignant and thrilling. Marlon Brando plays ex-boxer… More
Dan Schultz
An undisputed classic concerning a former boxer (Marlon Brando), seeking a fresh start as he works along the shore for a crooked mob boss, but suffers a moral… More
KJ Proulx
Marlon Brando steals the show with a pulse-pounding performance as Terry, a man who has never been trusted ever since his departure from world-class fighting.… More
xGary Xx
An ex-prizefighter and errand boy for a corrupt dockyard union unwittingly aids in the murder of a fellow worker, leading to a crisis of conscience that… More
Kevin Cookman
A couple heavy-handed moments in the ending are my only nit-picks with this absolute masterpiece.
Daniel Perry
Long ago, the first time I saw this movie, I promised that I would have more to say after a second watching. That came and went, and still, II don't know… More

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