On the Waterfront essay
On the waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film about union violence and corruption amongst longshore men. Mob connected union boss Johnny Friendly rules the waterfront with an iron fist. The police know he is responsible for a number of deaths, but witnesses play deaf and dumb to ensure they do not end up with the same consequences. Washed up boxer Terry Malloy has an errand-boy job because of the influence of his older brother Charley, a crooked union lawyer. Witnessing one of Friendly’s rub outs, Terry is willing to keep his mouth shut until he meets Edie the dead dockworkers sister, who is majorly responsible for the activation of Terry’s redemption as well as street-wise priest, Father Barry’s redemption.
Edie Doyle is catholic teacher in training. Not familiar with life on the Waterfront. An almost angelic soul who often rescues stray animals sees the good in former prize fighter Terry who is physically strong but shuffles throughout the film with his hands in his pockets and his collar turned up. Inside he is tender and conflicted, as is evident from his anxious physical behaviours. In many ways, her utter innocence represents the complete opposite of Terry’s street smarts, which is exactly what sparks Terry’s realisation of what is wrong and his need for redemption. Terry realises to make all wrongs, right he must confess to take the first step towards redemption. Terry is endangering his life by doing this.
With the help of catholic priest Father Barry who like Edie has little understanding of what happens daily on the docks. With help of Edie’s words “who ever heard of a saint hiding in a church” Father Barry comes to the realisation that he too needs to redeem himself. He soon puts on his heavy over coat, hat and white collar and finds the strength of his own convictions in applied practice at the docks, rather than in the safety of the church. This stirred havoc with tough criminal Johnny Friendly who had to claw his...