...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

January 23, 2006

On the Waterfront - 7

This film is considered a classic, and is on many top 100 lists. Marlon Brando plays the main character, Terry-who decides to stand up to the mob bosses who have been killing off any dissenters. As Jason pointed out to me, this films themes fit with the real life situation of the director of this film, Elia Kazan. Kazan cooperated with the American government in '52 which resulted in the blacklisting of many in Hollywood for their sympathy with communism. The theme of right and wrong is very prominent in the film and Terry is the hero but not without some bad consequences. An interesting film that has influenced many films since (one of which is Raging Bull).

2 comments:

Evan said...

Another one of my favorite films. In Kazan's autobiography he says that this film is his justification for cooperating with HUAC. Both Kazan and screenwriter Bud Schulberg named names. Kazan also wrote that he was a communist but that he grew to hate what communism stood for and that the people that he named were in the party. When Kazan won his honorary Oscar a few years back a number of people refused to stand and applaud in protest because they were still bitter about his testimony.

Kazan is one of my film heroes and I think this one of the most electric and profound films ever made.

lucas said...

as much as i like this film, i cannot condone the reasons this film was made. it's a difficult dillema, really, but Kazan was nothing short of a bastard in the way he handled the HUAC stuff.

this is a man who ruined the lives of innocent people and then made a film to justify it...despicable isn't a strong enough word.