On the Waterfront

This week’s film is a well-known classic starring Marlon Brando.

Partly inspired by a series of actual crime reports, On the Waterfront tells the story of Terry Malloy, a dock worker and former prize fighter, who finds himself doing favors for a powerful union boss. When union thugs murder one of Terry’s colleagues, Terry’s loyalties are torn. On the one hand, it seems clear that the union boss is corrupt and responsible for murder. On the other hand, Terry and his coworkers’ livelihoods seem to depend on the union boss’s power, and if Terry were to testify against him, Terry would be considered a rat and a betrayer.

Exploring themes of honesty, social injustice, and the true meaning of loyalty, the film reminds us that it’s when the consequences seem dire or the situation futile that doing the right thing matters the most. The film is not rated, but would most likely be PG. Some intense drama and mild violence make it more appropriate for older viewers.

Runtime: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Rated PG
USCCB rating: A-II
99% on Rotten Tomatoes
IMDb Parents Guide