Rank on the AFI List: #19
WHAT I ALREADY KNEW ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Only 2 things:
1) It starred Marlon Brando
2) The famous quote, "I coulda been a contender..."
LET ME EXPLAIN...
After watching A Streetcar Named Desire a couple weeks earlier, I was excited to see another Marlon Brando movie because he did such a great job in that one. But knowing virtually nothing about "On the Waterfront", I still had this thread of apprehension about watching an "old" movie, for fear that it would be too boring. Boy was I wrong with this one!
"On the Waterfront" starts quickly, with the very first scene being what drives the entire story. It's a very gritty film, as you see a corrupt mob-like union leader (played by Lee J. Cobb, who, in both this film as well as "12 Angry Men", has impressed me quite a bit) with a stranglehold on the longshoreman workers at the docks, and the attempts to fight the corruption from the ground up.
Once again, Marlon Brando showed me what a great actor he was (he won an Oscar for Best Actor in this movie), and I also LOVED finally hearing the famous quote "I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody" in context. Now, that line by itself might sound kind of cheesy, but now that I know what it means, it's a very powerful line, and a heart-wrenching moment in the movie. I would say that was probably my 2nd favorite scene.
So what was my favorite scene? Hands down it was the priest's speech on the boat. That has got to be one of the greatest scenes in movie history, and it literally gave me chills to watch it. I won't give any details about it here, but if you decide to watch this movie, you'll know the scene I'm talking about.
There were no glaring problems I had with this movie. Perhaps if I watch it again I'll find some, but as a once-through, I was very entertained and impressed.
LET ME SUM UP...
"On the Waterfront" has been my favorite movie on the AFI list since I began My Quest. It's gritty, suspenseful, powerful, and full of great acting. I highly recommend seeing this film.
MY RATING: 9/10
TOTAL # OF FILMS WATCHED: 49