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On the Waterfront (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1954)

Marlon Brando , Lee J. Cobb , Elia Kazan  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)

List Price: $49.95
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Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $36.84  
DVD Full Screen Edition $15.40  

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Frequently Bought Together

On the Waterfront (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + A Streetcar Named Desire (The Original Restored Version) [Blu-ray Book] + Citizen Kane (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $94.78

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,684 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Alternate presentations of the feature restoration in two additional aspect ratios: 1.85:1 (widescreen) and 1.33:1 (full-screen)
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Commentary featuring authors Richard Schickel and Jeff Young
  • New conversation between filmmaker Martin Scorsese and critic Kent Jones
  • Elia Kazan: Outsider (1982), an hour-long documentary
  • New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with scholar Leo Braudy, critic David Thomson, and others
  • New interview with actress Eva Marie Saint
  • Interview with director Elia Kazan from 2001
  • Contender, a 2001 documentary on the film’s most famous scene
  • New interview with longshoreman Thomas Hanley, an actor in the film
  • New interview with author James T. Fisher (On the Irish Waterfront) about the real-life people and places behind the film
  • Visual essay on Leonard Bernstein’s score
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Almereyda and reprints of Kazan’s 1952 ad in the New York Times defending his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, one of the 1948 New York Sun articles by Malcolm Johnson on which the film was based, and a 1953 Commonweal piece by screenwriter Budd Schulberg

  • Editorial Reviews

    Marlon Brando (The Godfather) gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry, a raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and institutional corruption. On the Waterfront charts Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must choose whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (12 Angry Men’s Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (In the Heat of the Night’s Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan (Gentlemen’s Agreement) and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg (A Face in the Crowd), On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (North by Northwest’s Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    146 of 153 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars It was you Charlie.... March 25, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
    If you want to know why Marlon Brando inspired and influenced an entire generation of actors, see On the Waterfront. His Terry Malloy is real down to his fingernails. Brando in his prime took and held the screen like no one else, absolutely magnetic, whether as a seeming uncaring pug with unawakened nobility in his heart (Terry) or a Mexican revolutionary (see Viva Zapata) or a racist jet ace (Sayonara) or whatever.

    Matching Brando is a perfect cast. Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, there isn't a missed note or lesser performance from any of them, not to mention the thugs and real-life dockworkers surrounding them. Elia Kazan was an actor's director, and his skill at eliciting superior performance is nowhere more evident than here. He also knew how to make a movie, and his work with the camera and pacing is first rate. The B&W photography is gritty, beautiful and serves to locate the film in time and place while eliminating distraction from the performances.

    You must know the story by now, culled from the real dockside union problems of the day, Budd Schulberg & Kazan fashioned a story that is about courage, loyalty (misplaced and otherwise), responsibilty and the willingness to stand up for something, stand alone if need be, and in that stance to risk the mistrust and misunderstanding and ostracism of your friends, your society, and the loss of your place in the world and even your life. They created a powerful melodrama of greed & corruption, of the struggle with compromise and conscience, of loss and redemption.

    Frankly, this is just great movie making. It isn't done any better than this, and if for some reason you have never seen this film, treat yourself to excellence.

    This is one of the best, don't miss it, and don't miss one of our greatest actors in his prime.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of all time November 20, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    Often mentioned among the greatest films of all time, this gritty story of corruption in the longshoremen's union and one man's courage to resist the mob bosses, hits with the force of an emotional sledgehammer. The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won 8 including best picture, best actor for Marlon Brando, best director for Elian Kazan and best supporting actress for Eva Marie Saint in her feature film debut. The acting talent was so deep that four cast members (Saint, Malden, Cobb, Steiger) were nominated in the best supporting actor category. The film was also rated number 8 on AFI's top 100 list of the twentieth century.
    The story focuses on Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), a small-time former boxer whose brother was highly placed in the corrupt longshoremen's union. Terry lures out Joey Doyle, an informant and friend of his, so the mobsters can deal with him. Terry thinks they are going to rough him up to keep him quiet, but instead, they throw him off a roof to his death. The guilt begins to gnaw at Terry, compounded by the fact that he is falling in love with Joey's sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint). He is further urged to inform on the mob by Father Barry (Karl Malden) setting up a dramatic confrontation with the union.
    The setting was highly realistic, filmed on the docks of Hoboken, NJ with the New York City skyline as its backdrop. Most of the extras were actual longshoremen who worked on those same docks. The use of black and white film rather than color only served to enhance the dramatic effects.
    This film was a vehement and personal political statement by Elian Kazan. Kazan had just finished testifying before the House Unamerican Activities Committee, naming former associates who were affiliated with the Communist party.
    Read more ›
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    33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic triumph!!! May 9, 2004
    "On the waterfront" is one of my favourite movies of all time. Marlon Brando is superb in this film and the dramatic tension throughout the entire production is a testament to the filmaker's skills. The acting, cinematography and script are all top-notch here.
    To the guy who wants this in widescreen, widescreen was not used greatly in 1954, the previous year saw the first use of it with "the Robe" so I wouldn't be holding my breath to see this one released in widescreen! For the other guy who won't watch it unless it's in colour, I hope your joking!! Talk about spoiling a great film.
    Thanks for reading and buy and enjoy this dvd.
    Comment | 
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    68 of 84 people found the following review helpful
    By Nix Pix
    Columbia continues its downward spiral where its classic DVD output is concerned. "On The Waterfront" is not only a great Academy Award winning film, it is an American icon. The plot is concerned with a union stooge, Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) who eventually realizes that the intimidation racket of his boss, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) is an evil and destructive force in his community. Eva Marie Saint costars as Edie Doyle, the sister of a man who was thrown off of a rooftop on Friendly?s orders. It is partially through her love and the stoic commitment of Father Barry (Carl Malden) that Terry reforms his ways. Rod Steiger is particularly effective as Charley Malloy, Terry?s brother.
    Quite simply: this transfer is a let down. Contrast levels are extremely low, fine details are lost in video noise reduction enhancement and digital grit, grain and noise are detected throughout. The gray scale is poorly balanced. Scratches, chips and distortions in the original camera negative stick out like a soar thumb. The audio is mono and undistinguished. It's not a bad mix, though there are moments where a slight background hiss crops up. No extras! Oh, come on Columbia. This is one of your BEST PICTURES and it gets this kind of treatment on DVD?!? It ?could'a been a contenda'!?
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    One of the great old movies. Brando is wonderful with a star studded cast.
    Published 10 days ago by Thomas L. Collins
    5.0 out of 5 stars Aww the Good old days with Good Old movies..
    What can I say that people who know about this movie haven;t said? What an icredible movie with Brando.... wow! I'm proud to have it as part as my collection.
    Published 18 days ago by LunaLady
    5.0 out of 5 stars On the Waterfront [1954] [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]
    On the Waterfront [1954] [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prize-fighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this... Read more
    Published 19 days ago by Andrew C. Miller
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    A wonderful classic that continues to work its magic. Brando and the entire cast are at their best in this one. Be sure to watch the "making of" feature. Read more
    Published 23 days ago by Loren w Christensen
    5.0 out of 5 stars There is a reason Brando is hailed as the greatest!
    This movie perfectly illustrates two things: How the people closest to you will be the ones who hurt you the most; but how one good person's love can turn your whole world around... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by MG
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top ten movies of all time
    First saw this movie if a film class. Was awestruck then and still am. Brando and Eva Marie-Saint that their best.
    Published 1 month ago by S. Metzger
    5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
    "On The Waterfront" has become, quite deservedly, one of the great motion pictures of all time. Whether you see it on VHS or DVD, you must experience this film!
    Published 2 months ago by Earle Williams
    5.0 out of 5 stars "You come from Greenpoint, go back to Greenpoint. You don't work here...
    Academy Award nominations: Supporting Actor-Lee Cobb, Supporting Actor-Karl Malden, Supporting Actor-Rod Stieger and Original Score. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by March boy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic, still works
    This continues to be ranked as one of the great American films -- and with good reason. The Criterion version is, as usual, best in the field.
    Published 3 months ago by Rebus
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brando and Steiger
    Worth watching just for the scene in the back of the cab. One of the top 5 movies of all time.
    Published 3 months ago by Edward Kersh
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    Topic From this Discussion
    The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Release
    I read that the film has been shown in several different aspect ratios over the years and Criterion had a hard time deciding on what the "official" aspect ratio should be, so they're including them all. I think it's just a one time thing for this film.
    Nov 29, 2012 by G.P. |  See all 2 posts
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