Saturday, March 16, 2019

I watched "On the Waterfront" again last night

I don't think I'd seen it since
my college years - all the sad
debris of anticommunist hyster- 
ia, clinging to it for so long.

Plus there was dread of Brando,
of course, possibly not seeming
so excellent after all our prog-
ress in whatever-it-is in which
we're reputed to've progressed.

And worry, too, for Schulberg's
notorious longwinded dialogues,
and whether Leonard Bernstein's
jagged edges in his score would
be even more intrusive nowadays.

The movie is intensely didactic,
political, simplistic, and just
primordially brilliant. Just as
the impression threatens to set-
tle in, that this is not a film
at all, but a stage play, there
are flashes of a bond between ac-
tor, script, and director which
a camera must not only capture,
but compose. These many inter-
ventions seem to cast the movie
into a third category, without
a label. But it does have a name.

Roger, pay the $2.00, as Jesse
Royce Landis counseled her DUI
son, Cary Grant for Hitchcock.

See Marlon Brando. One has to.

Elia Kazan
Budd Schulberg
On the Waterfront
Columbia, 1954©

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