Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1954. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Horizon Pictures. Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg, suggested by articles by Malcolm Johnson. Cinematography by Boris Kaufman. Produced by Sam Spiegel. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Production Design by Richard Day. Costume Design by Anna Hill Johnstone, Flo Transfield. Film Editing by Gene Milford.
Incredible drama that still crackles with tension after almost fifty years. Marlon Brando is brilliant as a fighter turned longshoreman who gets involved in the strikes going on among his colleagues along New York City’s harbour. Having been brought into this semi-criminal life by his brother, he now desires to turn against his bosses and have them be held responsible to the law for their inhumane business practices. The question that remains is whether or not he’s willing to risk his life for it. Brando couldn’t possibly be better in the extremely well-written lead role (which was originally offered to Montgomery Clift), and he is given ample support by Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger and a debuting (though you wouldn’t know it) Eva Marie Saint.
The Criterion Collection: #647
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor (Marlon Brando); Best Supporting Actress (Eva Marie Saint); Best Director (Elia Kazan); Best Story and Screenplay; Best Cinematography-BW; Best Art Direction-BW; Best Film Editing
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Lee J. Cobb); Best Supporting Actor (Karl Malden); Best Supporting Actor (Rod Steiger); Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Venice Film Festival Award: Silver Lion
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor-Drama (Marlon Brando); Best Director (Elia Kazan); Best Cinematography-BW