Black and white movie still of the day: On the Waterfront
What always gets me about this film is how a movie can be set in the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey, have a plot that consists of the betrayals and choices surrounding a corrupt dockworker’s union and yet be one of the most lyrical, tender and beautiful works of art ever to be set to celluloid.
It’s difficult for me to choose which of Brando’s works I love the best but it’s tough to convince me that he is not at his finest here. In this film he is at once conflicted, tough, gentle and simple—not stupid. It is difficult for an obviously intelligent actor to convincingly portray someone of inferior intellect without seeming condescending, but every choice Brando makes in this film seems as natural as the glove he fits on his hand in one famous scene opposite Eva Marie Saint. This movie is delicate and heartbreaking—if you think you already know the “Contendah” scene, you don’t. Give it a watch.