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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 (291 customer reviews)

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On the Waterfront (Special Edition) + Streetcar Named Desire + Casablanca
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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: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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 (291 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,730 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, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint. An ex-boxer tries to find out where he belongs as he lives day to day as a dockworker and struggles against injustice in his NY labor union. 1954/b&w/108 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 150 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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51 of 55 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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67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars VERY DISAPPOINTING TRANSFER OF AN AMERICAN CLASSIC March 10, 2003
By Nix Pix
Format:DVD
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'!?
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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
Format:DVD
"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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic cast of characters. A story that will make you pay...
Good look at the nature of business and how tough it is at every level for every type of person within it. It is a story tailor made to New York city and New Jersey.
Published 1 day ago by Larry Kim
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 8 days 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 11 days ago by Edward Kersh
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Waterfront
The best film of Brando's career. Great depiction of mob controlled longshore unions and the courage needed to overcome oppression.
Published 11 days ago by Lois
5.0 out of 5 stars A Method Actor's Embarrassment of Riches
Even if you have boycotted Elia Kazan movies for obvious reasons, you owe it to yourself, if you're a fan of gritty New York movies, or a student of the progression of film acting,... Read more
Published 16 days ago by David McNamara
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performances-somewhat dated
This is a gritty, no-holds-barred look at the mob-dominated longshoremens union that's probably tamer than the reality that really existed on the docks. Brando is great! Read more
Published 27 days ago by Gnome dePlume
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Marlon, you're the bee's knees
He's just so sexy, there isn't an actor today that is as sexy as Marlon Brando is in this movie. He's a good actor too!
Published 29 days ago by mike
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
intense, drama black and white adds to the story. Seeing Bando as a young actor is worth the movie enjoy
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars Brando at his best!
This is just a classic.Absolutely one of the most intense dramas put on film.Marlon Brando is just brilliant. Read more
Published 2 months ago by VIRUSOFLIFE
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic that is referenced many other places in popular culture.
I have seen so many do impressions of the "I could've been a contender!" line, it was great to finally see where it came from. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ballard McCleskey
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