Best Picture Winners Part 27 (of 87): On the Waterfront


Title: On The Waterfront
Year: 1954
Starring: Marlon Brando, Eve Marie Saint, Rod Steiger
Director: Elia Kazan
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins 

Is It Any Good?: Incredible! This is a classic in every sense of the word and Brando gives the best performances of his career to that date. One that finally nabbed him an Oscar three years in the making. Eve Saint Marie the future Hitchcock blonde would take home a little gold man for Best Supporting Actress along with six other Oscars including of course Best Picture (duh) Adapted Screenplay and Director. It follows the struggles of a washed up ex-boxer named Terry Malloy (Brando) whom is now nothing more then your average dock worker. When corruption becomes rampant and Terry finds himself on the wrong side he is torn between “ratting” on the men he’s known his whole life including his own brother (Steiger) and avenging the death of his new found romances (Saint Marie) brother (who he unsuspectingly assisted in). What will Terry do? Will he name names or will he remain “D and D”? Many consider the premise of this film based on the actual events surrounding director Kazan’s naming of names in relation to the communists within Hollywood to the controversial House Un-American Activities Committee.

Memorable Quote: NOTE: We’re going to avoid picking this films most famous monologue. Father Berry: You want to know what’s wrong with our waterfront? It’s the love of a lousy buck. It’s making love of a buck – -the cushy job – -more important than the love of man!

Competition: Well…it was there. None of the other nominated films were on On the Waterfront’s level but lets talk about them in order from least to most deserving of a silver and bronze. Three Coins in the Fountain is a romance more akin to a bag of marshmallows then that of something with substance. This film is by and far the weakest of the filed for 1954. Next up we have The Country Girl which finds Bing Crosby going dramatic (to mixed results) in a play adaptation the first of two from ’54. Both leads shine here with Grace Kelly taking the Oscar for Best Actress. In the other stage turned silver screen adapt we have a film based on a Broadway production. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a film that doesn’t hold up as well as some films that have come before it. Nevertheless still a fairly enjoyable musical for it’s popcorn value. Lastly The Caine Mutiny is a largely forgotten (and that is tragic) nominee one that it is often considered as the shining moment in the wonderful career of star Humphrey Bogart. Not a great film but certainly one that isn’t strong enough to be here.

Here it is the film will signify the middle of this decade. One with an unexpected leading man, and some great performances. Keep it on our page to follow the whole darn thing. We’ve got a long way to go hope your not bored yet! You can also hit us up on Twitter and Instagram @FilmSnobReviews we’d love to have you! Also if you could share the heck out of this with all the people we’d greatly appreciate it!

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