On the Waterfront Essay

2268 Words Oct 25th, 2012 10 Pages
Topic:'Terry says to Charley, "I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum. Which is what I am". Does the film support Terry's judgement of himself?

On the Waterfront is a film where a young man has to struggle between conflicting choices in the harsh brutal waterfront days of the 1950s. Director Elia Kazan chose to shoot the film in black and white, to use as a contrast between the obvious right and wrong state of affairs on the waterfront. However obvious it is, the decisions Terry Malloy must make are not so easy. Sticking to the waterfront ideals of being "D and D" and self-preservation, Terry is seen as selfish, uncaring and also as someone with no brains, no honour; essentially "a bum." Throughout the film
…show more content…
Eventually, Terry becomes a hero, a rapid change from his past of being a bum and now a person he is proud of.

On the Waterfront is the battle between good and evil.” Do you agree?

When Elia Kazan directed “On the Waterfront” in the early 1950’s, he was struggling within the political tide of McCarthyism. The message implicit in the film, as demonstrated in the final scene, is that people united can overcome an unjust rule. Strangely, Kazan did not live up to the values scripted in the screenplay written by his friend Arthur Miller (who, in the context of this issue, also wrote The Crucible), for he testified against his colleagues before the powerful HUAC and thus earned the contempt of a liberal Hollywood but not the court. In the eyes of many, On The Waterfront is a form of justification for Kazan’s act of “breaking the silence”. However, it is also clear from the narrative that it demands great courage and effort from an individual, Terry Malloy, to fight injustice and lead

Related Documents