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On the Waterfront

Saturday, Nov 20, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

Introduced by Richard Koszarski

Dir. Elia Kazan. 1954, 108 mins. 35mm. With Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger. As a dockworker who “coulda been a contender,” but finds himself caught in a violent web of corruption, Brando gives his most celebrated performance. Nominated for twelve Academy Awards and winner of eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, the movie is among the greatest of all New York films, and has been viewed historically as an attack on union racketeering and an allegorical justification for the cooperation of Kazan and screenwriter Budd Schulberg with the McCarthy committee.

On the Waterfront is a landmark in any history of New York filmmaking. It startled Hollywood by winning eight Academy Awards in 1955, but it was not alone that season. That was the same year Stanley Kubrick released Killer’s Kiss, which he had shot simultaneously with Elia Kazan’s film in the winter of 1953–54. …[D]ifferent as they are, both films emerged from the same cultural and economic traditions that had already shaped New York cinema for a generation. And both clearly belong to ‘New York,’ despite all the time Kazan spent shooting in Hoboken. Remember that the New York we are talking about here is not so much a matter of plot line or location but a sensibility, an overdetermined cultural perspective shaped by everything from population patterns to trade union regulations.” —Richard Koszarski


Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order online. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.