On the Waterfront. 1954. USA. Directed by Elia Kazan. 108 min.
Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. With Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb. With his unparalleled sensitivity to actors, Kazan, America’s leading theater director at the time, brought a new level of realism to American film in this study of working-class life. On the mob-controlled docks of Hoboken, Terry Malloy (Brando) is unwittingly involved in the death of a fellow dockworker, and he struggles with his guilt. Anselmo Ballester’s poster casts Marlon Brando as a dark figure and features a menacing, oversized cargo hook (a known tool for eliminating union snitches and the like) at its center—not fully capturing Brando’s remarkable, poignant performance in its moral nuance and rich, physical detail. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Film Foundation.