On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

Criterion Collection Edition #647

Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, ON THE WATERFRONT follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, ON THE WATERFRONT was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay.

On the Waterfront
  • On the Waterfront

    Directed by Elia Kazan • 1954 • United States
    Starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb

    Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and soc...


  • ON THE WATERFRONT Edition Intro

  • ON THE WATERFRONT Commentary

    This audio commentary features Richard Schickel, author of “Elia Kazan: A Biography,” and Jeff Young, author of “Kazan: The Master Director Discusses His Films.”

  • ON THE WATERFRONT Widescreen (1.85:1)

  • ON THE WATERFRONT Full-Screen (1.33:1)

  • Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones on ON THE WATERFRONT

    Director Martin Scorsese has often acknowledged his debt to the films of Elia Kazan, most explicitly in the documentary A LETTER TO ELIA, which he codirected with filmmaker and critic Kent Jones. In this conversation, recorded in 2012, Scorsese and Jones discuss Kazan and ON THE WATERFRONT.

  • Elia Kazan: An Outsider

    This hour-long 1982 documentary, directed by Annie Tresgot, looks at the career of ON THE WATERFRONT director Elia Kazan via an in-depth conversation between the director and French film critic Michel Ciment.

  • I’m Standin’ Over Here Now

    This documentary, produced in 2012, features interviews with Leo Braudy, author of the BFI monograph “On the Waterfront”; Lisa Dombrowski, editor of “Kazan Revisited”; “Cineaste” editor Dan Georgakas; “Naming Names” author Victor Navasky; and film scholar David Thomson.

  • Eva Marie Saint on ON THE WATERFRONT

    Although ON THE WATERFRONT was Eva Marie Saint’s first feature film, she had been a successful actor for years before landing the role of Edie Doyle, which earned her an Oscar. She later starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST and John Frankenheimer’s ALL FALL DOWN, among many other movi...

  • Elia Kazan on ON THE WATERFRONT

    Film critic Richard Schickel conducted this interview with director Elia Kazan in 2001.

  • Thomas Hanley on ON THE WATERFRONT

    Thomas Hanley, who plays Tommy Collins in ON THE WATERFRONT, was, like many in the supporting cast, a nonactor from Hoboken, New Jersey, where the film was shot. After its release, Hanley became a longshoreman, which he remained until his retirement in 2009. In this interview, conducted in 2012, ...

  • The History of ON THE WATERFRONT

    In this interview, conducted in 2012, James T. Fisher, author of “On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York,” discusses the historical basis for ON THE WATERFRONT, and how the film became intertwined with the events it depicts.

  • Contender: Mastering the Method

    This 2001 documentary considers ON THE WATERFRONT’s most famous scene in the light of the Method school of acting, of which Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger were enthusiastic adherents. It features critic Richard Schickel, “Inside the Actors Studio” host James Lipton, actor Martin Landau, authors Pa...

  • Leonard Bernstein’s Score for ON THE WATERFRONT

    In this video essay, created in 2012, critic Jon Burlingame considers the unique power of composer Leonard Bernstein’s score for ON THE WATERFRONT, the only one he ever composed for a film. Burlingame is the author of the essay “Leonard Bernstein and On the Waterfront: Tragic Nobility, a Lyrical ...

  • On the Aspect Ratio

    The following visual essay about the various aspect ratios presented in ON THE WATERFRONT was created in 2012.