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On the Waterfront

So this is another Elia Kazan movie where he’s trying desperately convince the FBI that he’s not a commie? It wasn’t enough to snitch on all his friends to the HUAC, or the previous movie which was all about how eeeevil communism is — now he’s doing a movie about how evil unions are?

(But it’s just one specific union, of course, which is all controlled by the mob; not that Kazan is making a more general point. He’s such a weasel.)

And that was a gambit that worked for Kazan:

It received twelve Academy Award nominations and won eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Saint, and Best Director for Kazan.


The film is widely considered to be Elia Kazan’s answer to those who criticized him for identifying eight Communists in the film industry before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1952.

And the answer was… “Fuck yeah! I’ll snitch on all of youse!”?

But as usual with Kazan’s movies, it really works. It’s totes gripping. I would have give it a , but the ending is so silly that I can’t.

On the Waterfront. Elia Kazan. 1954.

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