On the Waterfront
In a performance that would define his career, Marlon Brando plays Terry Malloy, a onetime prizefighter now resigned to backbreaking work as a longshoreman on docks ruled by a ruthless union boss (Lee J. Cobb) with mob ties. But as the New York State Crime Commission starts closing in, Malloy begins to question his loyalties, not a simple matter considering Cobb’s right-hand man is Malloy’s own brother (Rod Steiger).
Elia Kazan’s urban masterpiece benefits from its stellar contributors both onscreen—Karl Malden also shines as a priest sympathetic to Malloy’s cause, while Eva Marie Saint is indelible as the sister of a fellow stevedore, a role that garnered her only Oscar statuette—and behind the scenes. Budd Schulberg’s dynamite, Oscar-winning script features one of cinema’s most beloved speeches, Leonard Bernstein’s potent score proved his lone effort in composing solely for film, and the stately cinematography of Boris Kaufman (The Pawnbroker, Baby Doll) and gritty production design by Richard Day (The Grapes of Wrath and Kubrick favorite Roxie Hart), both Oscar winners for their work here, intensify the film’s impact.
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online