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On the Waterfront (Special Edition) (1954)

Marlon Brando , Karl Malden , Elia Kazan  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning
  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Writers: Budd Schulberg, Malcolm Johnson
  • Producers: Sam Spiegel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2001
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,442 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "On the Waterfront (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive Featurette: "CONTENDER-Mastering the Method"
  • Elia Kazan Interview
  • Vintage Photo Gallery
  • Talent Files (Elia Kazan, Writer Budd Schulberg, Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb and Eva Marie Saint)

Editorial Reviews

Marlon Brando gives one of the screen's most electrifying performances as Best Actor in this 1954 Academy Award(r) winner for Best Film. Ex-fighter Terry Malloy (Brando) could have been a contender butnow toils for boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) on the gang-ridden waterfront. Terry is guilt-stricken, however, when he lures a rebellious worker to his death. But it takes the love of Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint), the dead man's sister, to show Terry how low he has fallen. When his crooked brother Charley the Gent (Rod Steiger) is brutally murdered for refusing to kill him, Terry battles to crush Friendly's underworld empire. Directed by Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire) and written by Budd Schulberg (What Makes Sammy Run?), this unforgettable drama about Terry's redemption is among the most acclaimed of all films.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
150 of 157 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.
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56 of 60 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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a damn moth! May 8, 2006
I knocked a star off the rating of this classic film because the quickie flip to DVD. I also have an old VHS copy(1984)where there's a moth(!)fluttering across the screen for several seconds. Some of it was cleaned up for this "Special Edition" DVD, but the editors obviously were dozing or had to get said product to market so you still inexplicitably see it fluttering around on the DVD version.

Honestly, they were probably too lazy to get the orignal masters from the vault & just transfered the VHS version through the computer cleaning up a few dropouts, but not really taking the time to release a professional standard.

That being said, the extra features are essential for film geeks. James Lipton gets almost teary-eyed talking about Brando's artistic choices & the famous scene in the cab has a great backstory.

Maybe a "definitive" version of this release is still a few years away. Perhaps there's an even better version in pre-production for HD DVD or Blu-ray. Until then, there's tons of VHS copies floating around for cheap or classic movie weekends on cable.

If rating this movie on its power as a story, then it's five star hands down. This is what Brando was capable of before becoming a victim of his own ego. The priest character played by Karl Malden is anything but preachy. He drinks & smokes w/the dockworkers & even throws a punch. Even though some reviewers on this forum don't get it, this is perhaps one of the best examples of the paschal mystery ever caught on film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 22 days ago by virgilio e. hoffmann
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Waterfront Review
Note: This is a review for the film itself not the Blu-Ray or DVD Quality

On the Waterfront is one of those truly great crime films you don't forget and seeing how well... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jake Beninato
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic movie
Published 1 month ago by Freddie
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever
Best acting all around that I have ever seen.
Published 1 month ago by Will O Vachon
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth, Power and Brilliance--in Black and White
Quite simply the finest, most important feature film ever made in America. Besides the brilliant cast, directed with immense passion and insight by Elia Kazan, the screenplay is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by RevRichard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by George King
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time classic on BLU Ray
im glad i have this movie on blu ray. The picture and sound quality are excellent. The movie itself is an all time classic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Isaac Gamez
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time
My favorite movie of all time. Powerful acting, staging on Jersey waterfront, and music and most of all dialogue, fascinate me. "I coulda been somebody. Read more
Published 2 months ago by flywithbirds
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the great old movies. Brando is wonderful with a star studded cast.
Published 3 months 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 3 months ago by LunaLady
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