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: July 28, 1954
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2001
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Critic Score: 98% 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.

Jack Moffitt
Hollywood Reporter

This is one of the year's important films.

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Variety Staff

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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Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

Marlon Brando won his first Academy Award as Terry Malloy, the former prize fighter turned longshoreman on the mob-dominated docks of New York.

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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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Sarah Boslaugh

[Boris Kaufman's] neo-realistic style is a perfect match for Waterfront's gritty story... and the film was well served by the 36 days the cast and crew spent shooting in and around the Hoboken waterfront.

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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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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Overrated melodrama about the alleged wonders of informing.

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More reviews for On the Waterfront

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Kazan's self-defense for naming names to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1952 (and his apologia for denunciation) is a gritty combo… More
Kevin Cookman
A couple heavy-handed moments in the ending are my only nit-picks with this absolute masterpiece.
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

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