Tuesday, August 16, 2011

14. On the Waterfront (1954) 8/10


-You're getting on. You're pushing 30. You know, it's time to think about getting some ambition.
-I always figured I'd live a bit longer without it.

Quality - 4/5
Enjoyability - 4/5

Marlon Brando originally turned the lead role in this film down. Frank Sinatra would have been his replacement, and it would have been an excellent film. It's got everything: a love story, a dynamic protagonist, a solid spiritual message straight from Galatians, and a real-life historical perspective that is rarely taught about because the problems of "mob rule" in labor still hits pretty close to home today (even though the mighty corporation has taken the place of gun-toting Italians). Yes, it would have been an excellent movie, but Marlon Brando decided to take the role and one of the greatest films in history was born. His performance in this movie is not over-the-top and there are no jaw-dropping moments that could be easily pointed out for reference. Even the famous "'Coulda beena contenda" speech fits as an equal part of a greater performance that is simply flawless from start to finish.

I'll be honest, I never really got the whole "Marlon Brando-the greatest actor of all time" thing, and I still am not willing to back it one hundred percent. Let's just say that after watching this masterpiece, I understand why people say it.

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