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On the Waterfront [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1954]

  • SKU: 20844173
  • Release Date: 02/19/2013
  • Rating: NR

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (6 out of 6)

    Special Features

    • Disc one:
    • New 4K digital restoration
    • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack
    • Audio commentary by authors Richard Schickel and Jeff Young
    • New conversation between filmmaker Martin Scorsese and critic Kent Jones
    • Elia Kazan: an outsider (1982), an hour-long documentary
    • Visual essay on the aspect ratio
    • Trailer
    • Disc two:
    • Alternate presentation of the restoration in the aspect ration of 1.85: 1 (widescreen)
    • New documentary on the making of the film, featuing interviews with scholar Leo Braudy, critic David Thomson, and others
    • New interview with Eva Marie Saint
    • Interview with director Elia Kazan from 2001
    • New interview with longshoreman Thomas Hanley, an actor in the film
    • Disc three:
    • Alternate presentation of the restoration in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (full-screen)
    • New interview with author James T. Fisher about the real-life people and places behind the film
    • Contender: mastering the method, a 2001 documentary of the film's most famous scene
    • Visual essay on Leonard Bernstein's score
    • Plus:
    • A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda, Kazan's 1952 defense of his House Un-American Activities Committee testimony, one of the 1948 Malcolm Johnson articles that inspired the film, and a 1953 piece by screenwriter Budd Schulberg


    On the Waterfront
    This classic story of Mob informers was based on a number of true stories and filmed on location in and around the docks of New York and New Jersey. Mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) rules the waterfront with an iron fist. The police know that he's been responsible for a number of murders, but witnesses play deaf and dumb ("plead D & D"). Washed-up boxer Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) has had an errand-boy job because of the influence of his brother Charley, a crooked union lawyer (Rod Steiger). Witnessing one of Friendly's rub-outs, Terry is willing to keep his mouth shut until he meets the dead dockworker's sister, Edie (Eva Marie Saint). "Waterfront priest" Father Barry (Karl Malden) tells Terry that Edie's brother was killed because he was going to testify against boss Friendly before the crime commission. Because he could have intervened, but didn't, Terry feels somewhat responsible for the death. When Father Barry receives a beating from Friendly's goons, Terry is persuaded to cooperate with the commission. Featuring Brando's famous "I coulda been a contendah" speech, On the Waterfront has often been seen as an allegory of "naming names" against suspected Communists during the anti-Communist investigations of the 1950s. Director Elia Kazan famously informed on suspected Communists before a government committee -- unlike many of his colleagues, some of whom went to prison for refusing to "name names" and many more of whom were blacklisted from working in the film industry for many years to come -- and Budd Schulberg's screenplay has often been read as an elaborate defense of the informer's position. On the Waterfront won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Brando, and Best Supporting Actress for Saint. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Marlon Brando
      Marlon Brando - Terry Malloy
    • Karl Malden
      Karl Malden - Father Barry
    • Lee J. Cobb
      Lee J. Cobb - Johnny Friendly
    • Rod Steiger
      Rod Steiger - Charley Malloy
    • Image coming soon
      Pat Henning - "Kayo" Dugan

    Customer rating

    Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 6 reviews

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent restoration by Criterion

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Criterion has really gone above and beyond for this release. At the time this film was shot, there were many different aspect ratio options for projectionists, so this film (among others) was shot to accommodate more than one aspect ratio. Criterion lets us choose which way we would like to enjoy the film, in 1.66:1, 1.85:1 or 1.33:1. As usual, Criterion has done an exemplary job in transferring this classic to video, with the audio and video quality meeting their normal high standards. Technical aspects aside, this is a classic film for a reason and just experiencing the story itself is well worth the purchase, not to mention the plethora of extras.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars



      Marlon Brando's performance is what dreams are made of. I have never loved a film more than I love this one. The directing is so delicate and pure. It makes you feel as though you are being held in the clouds, yet below there is a constant storm. Cinema at it's best.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great Movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I have watched this movie over 25 times...each time I do it gets better and better..great acting by the whole cast (especially Marlon Brando ) of the top 5 best of all time in my opinion!!!!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Excellent movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I highly recommend this movie. Winner of 8 Oscars including best picture,director,actor,supporting actress, and screenplay.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great movie


      This is definitely a classic, Brando at his best, at the top of his game. Herman Munster is in this too looking really young

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Found this on sale and am glad I now have in my collection

      I would recommend this to a friend

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.