Best Movies by Farr
On the Waterfront Poster
Released Runtime Category
1954 108 Drama, The Essentials
Director Language
Elia Kazan English
Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

On the Waterfront

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What's it About

Washed-up prizefighter Terry Malloy (Brando) is increasingly disillusioned working for his mobster brother, Charley (Steiger), who in turn is right-hand man to ruthless waterfront boss Johnny Friendly (Cobb). When Terry falls for the beautiful Edie Doyle (Saint), the sister of a man brutally murdered on Friendly’s orders, he finally decides to take a stand against the widespread corruption on the waterfront. But will he live long enough to savor his hard-earned redemption?

Why we love it

"Waterfront” marked Brando’s third cinematic teaming with director Kazan, and the result is what most people consider to be their best work together. Its gritty, almost claustrophobic on-location direction captures the human desperation and acute sense of danger emanating from the waterfront neighborhood, a world unto itself. The acting is top-notch, as Steiger, Cobb, Saint and Karl Malden (as a local priest) all perform at — or close to — Brando's level. And don’t miss that unforgettable wind-up. (Kazan himself later stated that Brando’s work here was the finest male performance he ever saw on-screen.)

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"