On The Waterfront

Elia Kazan

Tit. It.: “Fronte Del Porto”; Scen.: Budd Schulberg, Da Un Racconto Di Budd Schulberg Basato Su Una Serie Di Articoli Di Malcolm Johnson; F.: Boris Kaufman; M.: Gene Milford; Scgf.: Richard Day; Cost.: Anna Hill Johnstone; Trucco: Fred Ryle; Mu.: Leonard Bernstein; Su.: James Shields; Ass.R.: Charles H. Maguire; Int.: Marlon Brando (Terry Malloy), Eva Marie Saint (Edie Doyle), Karl Malden (Padre Barry), Lee J. Cobb (Johnny Friendly), Rod Steiger (Charley Malloy), Martin Balsam (Gillette), Pat Henning (“Kayo” Dugan), Leif Erickson (Eddy Glover), Tony Galento (Truck), Tami Mauriello (Tillio), John Hamilton (Pop Doyle), Arthur Keegan (Jimmy), James Westerfield (Big Mac), John Heldabrand (Mutt), Rudy Bond (Moose), Don Blackman (Luke), Pat Hingle (Barista); Prod.: Sam Spiegel Per Horizon-American Corp.; 35mm. D.: 108’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

No doubt because of the popularity of this film and the immense critical reception it received, the original negative suffered in many ways through over printing both at the time of release in 1954 and with subsequent re-releases. When On the Waterfront was first restored by Sony Pictures, in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, in 1992, state of the art photochemical laboratory processing and printing was employed. A decade later, the evolution and availability of certain digital technologies allow us to achieve results not possible photo chemically. Ensuring the digitally replaced shots or sequences matched the surrounding original picture, so that the digital replacements appeared seamless and natural, was of primary importance to the work.

Grover Crisp – Sony Columbia

On the Waterfront brought together a combination of extraordinary talents and this is undoubtedly one of the reasons why it is so contradictory and so powerful. The film exudes an energy in which raw realism, theatricality and a distant, dream-like atmosphere pull in different directions. At the same time it is also a hard-hitting film of the outside world in which the power of the real New York waterfronts upsets any trace of a theatrical structure. We see the characters on the docks shiver, we see their breath on the morning air, we can almost feel the biting cold and relentless wind that chafes their faces. Kazan deliberately chose to put his actors out in extreme conditions in order to open them up to physical and spiritual truth. The narrative texture of On the Waterfront contains echoes of a variety of genres, including realism, intimism, melodrama, cop movies and naturally films with a serious social commitment. In the world of trade union gangsterism, abuse of authority must be reported. Informing is therefore a responsible act as well as a form of personal therapy from which a happy relationship between a man and a woman can grow. Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg, the author of the script had named names in front of the McCarthy commission; for both of them, On the Waterfront was a therapeutic struggle to find self-absolution.

Peter von Bagh

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