Sign In
Not register? Register Now!
Essay Available:
You are here: HomeMovie ReviewCommunications & Media
7 pages/≈1925 words
Communications & Media
Movie Review
English (U.S.)
MS Word
Total cost:
$ 27.72

On The Waterfront (Movie Review Sample)


This film was cast and directed by Leonard Bernstein. It is mainly bout mob informers and the major parts of it were based from true stories. The film was shot and films about and around the docks of Hoboken in New Jersey. One of the film main character is Johnny Friendly, who at the same time happens to be the union boss and with mob connections


On the Water-Front
In this paper we will be looking at film "On the Waterfront" while comparing and contrasting it to "Everything That Floats" by Kaplan. This will be of great importance as it helps us in understanding the effect of mob on the society, workers and their unions (Raymond, 1955). The above said film mainly focuses on violence in the union and their corruption among the personnel’s at longshoremen (Raymond, 1955). It will be worth noting that this film is mainly based on the articles found in the New York sun and the author been Malcolm Johnson. With its focus on the real events that happened to local people, this film was able to be awarded with over five academy awards (Raymond, 1955).
Overview of the Film
This film was cast and directed by Leonard Bernstein. It is mainly bout mob informers and the major parts of it were based from true stories. The film was shot and films about and around the docks of Hoboken in New Jersey. One of the film main character is Johnny Friendly, who at the same time happens to be the union boss and with mob connections (Raymond, 1955). Johnny is known to take pride of been in control of the waterfront, and this happens in the sense he is known to be a dictator. The WCC (Waterfront Crime Commission) and police do believe that Mr. Johnny is responsible for numerous murders but they are unable to prove it. The main reason was that all the witnesses fear for their lives thus they end up playing deaf and dumb (commonly known as double D or D and D) (Raymond, 1955). The witnesses can therefore be said to have accepted an acquiescent position as they fully understand the risk and danger of informing. Johnny refers the act of informing as ‘Rating’ (Raymond, 1955).
Beginning of the film, we learn that Terry who happens to be a dockworker has a brother, Charley and he happens to be Johnny’s lawyer. We also are informed that Terry was once a promising boxer, and that’s until Johnny came along (Raymond, 1955). What happened is that Terry was instructed by Johnny to intentionally lose a fight with the main reason having been that Johnny had bet against him? This clearly shows us that Johnny was a kind of person been feared by a majority of people, as Terry was willing to lose a fight that could have changed his life for better rather than to disobey Johnny. The film starts with Terry wheedling and ambushing Joey (a well liked worker) thereby preventing him from testifying against Johnny in front of the Waterfront Crime Commission (Raymond, 1955). Even been the muscle guy (Terry), he is seen resenting to be used as the object in Joey’s death but in the end he is willing to play deaf and dumb.
Terry meets Edie, the sister of the murdered Joey and he becomes love struck. At the same time, Edie has shamed the waterfront priest (Father Barry) into stimulating/ taking action against the union which is under the control of the mob (Raymond, 1955). No sooner rather than later are Edie and Father Barry insisting on Terry to testify against the mob? Kayo who happens to be a dockworker agrees to testify with father Barry promising unwavering support (Raymond, 1955). Kayo turns up dead after Johnny arranges for him to be killed by a load of whiskey which happens to be a staged accident (Raymond, 1955).
With his conscience tormenting him, Terry slowly drifts towards testifying against Johnny. Johnny believes that Terry should be killed if in the end his brother Charley is unable of convincing him to continue playing deaf and dumb. Charles starts with first trying to bribe his brother, whom he fails, then he holds a gun against him and in the end he fails to convince Terry to change his mind (Raymond, 1955). In the end Terry blames his successful brother for the troubles he is going through in his life. This can be attributed when Terry takes his brother back to the night in which he supported the fixation of the fight, where he reminds him he could have been a contender (Raymond, 1955). Lastly, Charley decides to give Terry the gun while advising him to run. Unknown to them, Johnny has been monitoring the situation and he therefore decides to have Charley killed and his body hanged in an alley. This was to act as a bait to help Johnny catch Terry (Raymond, 1955). We later witness father Barry stopping Terry from shooting Johnny and convinces him to fight him the right way, by testifying to the WCC.
At the end of the testimony, Johnny declares that Terry will not be employed by anyone on the waterfront. We see Edie who has also fallen for Terry persuading him to leave with her but nevertheless he decides to join one of the recruitment drives by the docks (Raymond, 1955). With him been the only person not hired, Terry decides to confront Johnny and informs him that he is proud of the decision he made of testifying against him. The film ends with a confrontation developing with Johnny having the help of his thugs mobbing up and beating Terry to the brink of death (Raymond, 1955). With the other dockworkers having witnessed the confrontation become united and declares their support for Terry. They thereby decide to put down their tools on the condition that they will not work unless Terry is employed and working too (Raymond, 1955). The shoddily wounded terry manages to get on his feet and enter the waterfront docks followed by his fellow longshoremen. In the end, victory is theirs.
Relationship to Everything that Floats by William Kaplan
In this film derived from the book by Kaplan, we witness Kaplan focusing on the period of corruption and violence when SIU was under the leadership of Hal Banks. It is believed that as early as the 1950s the federal labor department had been made aware of the evils in the die workers union (Jim, 1986). The union officials were believed to be involved in various forms of racketeering and extortion while the anti Banks activists were intimidated (William, 1987). The author notes that this form of unionism to have been common to/ when it comes to civil servants and politicians as compared to its forerunners (Jim, 1986). The shocking point has been that banks had been appointed as a Canadian delegate to the ILO (International Labor Organization) (William, 1987). Even when the immigration decided to later have him deported the, the cabinet rejected this decision and openly supported the banks union. With other government agencies embracing him and this was up to the 1950s when the SIU started to raid other unions to strengthen its control in Canada (William, 1987). It is at this point whereby the title Everything that Floats was created. There is a similarity on this point when it comes to the film on the waterfront (Raymond, 1955).
By the year 1960, the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) had had enough and it decided o expel the union while supporting rival organizing drives. Once more, blood started to flow in the docks and two year later, the CLC was able to convince the government to appoint Justice Thomas to investigate the activities of the union. After hundred days of public hearings, mostly from credible witnesses the Justice was able to submit his final report (William, 1987). One of hi core recommendation was that there should be a legitimate trusteeship to be imposed on all the unions across the country (Jim, 1986). This was vital in helping bring about democracy to a single organization in the industry that was under high quality control (William, 1987). With tough negotiations between the American government and it Canadian counterpart, the Canadian government was able to comply. The trustees appointed had a tough task of housecleaning (Jim, 1986). In the end, Banks was fired and found guilty of conspiracy to a...
Get the Whole Paper!
Not exactly what you need?
Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:

Other Topics:

  • Inclusion, Observation and Reflection
    Description: Samantha in the video done by the Five Head Start/Hilton Foundation Training Program (n.d) displays all highlighted behavior in the sense that she engages in social activities...
    1 page/≈275 words| APA | Communications & Media | Movie Review |
  • Oil, Smoke and Mirrors
    Description: The movie Oil, Smoke and Mirrors is a documentary that seeks to shed some light on the proceedings that took place on 9/11 and relate them to the problems with energy, in particular, oil...
    6 pages/≈1650 words| APA | Communications & Media | Movie Review |
  • Pan Am & KLM Plane Crash Review
    Description: It was on 27th of March, when Pan Am and KLM planes were diverted to Tenerife Airport due to the reported bomb explosions at their expected destination...
    1 page/≈275 words| APA | Communications & Media | Movie Review |
Need a Custom Essay Written?
First time 15% Discount!