I had heard many times in my 60 years that it was a classic but I avoided it because I wasn't a Brando fan. Finally, I watched it a couple years ago and was just floored by it. Brando is amazing. When I think about the ending it gives me chills it's so powerful. Lee J Cobb just exudes evil, greed and lust. It deals with some hard truths about us all that we don't like to face. Face it. Watch it.
Just another 'classic' that needs to be read, another essay on the poem's themes, another night spent hunched over, toiling on an assignment due the next morn. I thought I would re-enter that cycle which all students greet with a groan and a blanch face when I was assigned to watch this film, another 'classic'. Another humdrum work without any real purpose or actual use, great, here I go again, and again. How parents nag about education, how the world demands perfection, so I continue, watching on, reading on, writing on, testing on, memorizing, regurgitating, repeating. Or not. Instead, why not break the cycle which resonates all to often with unmotivated, phlegmatic pupils, with passionate pieces of beauty such as "On The Waterfront". What an amazing, inspiring, carnal, tear-jerking, fist-clenching, intellectually provoking film such as this. Such a simple archetype of redemption displayed perfectly and executed with finesse. "On The Waterfront" follows Terry, and his struggle against the mob, and the almighty Johnny Friendly as he realizes the man he wants to become is not a bum. Don't be a bum, watch the movie. Trust me its more applicable then you might think.