"On The Waterfront"

Essay by aznXsa2587 May 2006

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"On The Waterfront" was clearly produced in an effort to justify director Elia Kazan's actions infront of the House Of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Behind the thin mask of his low budget film, Kazan displays his resoning in naming names to the government. Through his award-winning screenplay and cast of elite actors, Kazan made this symbolic film in effort to save his good name at a cruital point in his career.

On the surface, "On The Waterfront" is a extremly powerful drama. The film seems to be centered around the large corruption problems that are involved in unionism. Set on the New York docks, the film shows the union workers struggeling to make ends meat. It presents its audience with an unfair, steel-fisted leader who treats his workers with no respect and dignety. To make things worse the mob has it sticky little fingers all over the union.

The main character in the film, Terry Malloy, is shown as handy man for the mob. Although he is not completely willing to comply with many of the mob's requests, he is often times found being forced to do so due to the fact that his brother, Charley Malloy, is heavily involved with the outfit.

Played by Marlon Brando, Terry Malloy is soon faced with a difficult delima. The mobster union boss, Johnny Friendly, asks him to lure a dockworker named Joey Doyle to the roof top of a tenement building. The boss wants rid of Joey Doyel because he is going to testify against the mob to the Waterfront Crime Commison. Not knowing better Terry finds the man who is quickly killed by a few other members in the mob.

Following his witnessing of the death, Terry is faced with the dalema of weather or not to...