Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

"On the Waterfront" and Other Blue-Collar Movies


speedracer5
 Share

Recommended Posts

Last week, I saw On the Waterfront for the first time in the theater.  I absolutely loved this movie.  I'm not the biggest fan of Marlon Brando, though I definitely prefer his 1950s output to any other period of his career.  I tend to really enjoy films that depict the working class and have an overall grittier aesthetic.  Seeing films about the privileged, white collar crowd is fun too, but there's something about the movies that depict a more humble, more realistic experience.  Many noir also fit this theme, which is perhaps why I love that style of filmmaking so much.  I also love TCM's "late night" montage, as it has an overall gritty, realistic and unsavory look. 

 

In On the Waterfront, what I loved was the scenery.  I understand that they actually shot the film on the waterfront of Hoboken, NJ where the film took place.  The dirty, derelict surroundings, and the rough looking longshoremen only added to the experience of seeing the film.  In many blue-collar oriented films, the characters either live in very modest homes or apartments or in tenements.  Brando and Eva Marie Saint both lived in tenements.  Brando spent much of his time up on the roof tending to pigeons, a bird which is often associated with the working class.  I understand that Grace Kelly was originally offered Saint's role in this film, but turned it down for Rear Window.  I'm glad Kelly made this decision.  As much as I like Kelly, she would not fit into this environment, she works much better as the fashion model in Rear Window.  Saint, while pretty, has more average beauty than Kelly's untouchable glamour (I hope that made sense, I know what I'm trying to say).  

 

With many of these blue collar films, the mob tends to play a big role.  In this film, they control the docks and the longshoremen are at their mercy to get hired on that day to make money for their family.  However, the mob makes it a point to only choose the men who will accept and enable their cause.  I believe that the mob is so easily able to have this influence because the mob bosses will throw the poor men a bone on occasion and they're able to manipulate them into agreeing and following their schemes.  The mob bosses of course are rich through the money they "earn" through their various unscrupulous tactics.  I absolutely loved the ending of On the Waterfront, what a powerful film.

 

What other great blue-collar oriented movies are out there?  What other aspects of working class films do you love? Am I the only one who likes to deviate away from fantasy films and upper class-oriented films and see the struggles of ordinary people? (a rhetorical question, I know I am not). 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a favourite genre of mine as well.

 

I'd love to see On the Waterfront on the big screen, but as I have mentioned before, these fathom events don't happen in Canada - not my province anyway - and I could get to see it near where I live across the border, but that would only happen in some sort of bus tour group otherwise I can't see me doing it. And Roman Holiday wold have been the film for me to see on the big screen.

 

 

Roman Holiday is an interesting example of both the working class (Peck and Albert) and royalty (Hepburn, obviously).

 

I have not seen the movie called "Blue Collar"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Norma Rae' (1979) is a pretty good blue-collar movie.

I haven't seen Norma Rae yet.  I know of the famous scene where Sally Field holds up the sign.  I really enjoy Field's performances.  I will need to keep an eye out for this film the next time it airs on TCM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is on my to-see list. 

 

 

You won't be disappointed. Sally Field's best performance in my opinion.

 

I like movies where a "little person" takes on "the man."  Though it's usually predictable how the movie will end--they're victorious (otherwise, what was the point?), it's fun and fascinating to watch their struggle to get their message through and seeing them be able to reap the benefits of their hardwork.  Norma Rae I know has this theme as does On the Waterfront.  There are a lot of blue collar films which also deal with unions.  It seems that unionizing your job is a way to improve the quality of life for everyone involved. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though I like American-made blue collar films, I've always really enjoyed the British take on such things, Speedracer.

 

A film I admire is "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" from the early 1960's by Karel Reisz and starring Albert Finney.
 

It is nice to see the British "angry young man" as they were then known, of the time period featured in films.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though I like American-made blue collar films, I've always really enjoyed the British take on such things, Speedracer.

 

A film I admire is "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" from the early 1960's by Karel Reisz and starring Albert Finney.

 

It is nice to see the British "angry young man" as they were then known, of the time period featured in films.

I might admire these films films a lot more if I could pick up all the dialogue with the heavy British accents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might admire these films films a lot more if I could pick up all the dialogue with the heavy British accents.

Well, Down you could do a reverse Demosthenes experiment. If you recall, he was the orator who trained himself to speak distinctly by putting stones in his mouth.

 

In a vice versa way, go watch a bunch of episodes of "All Creatures Great and Small" where the dialects are very thick and hard to understand and then when you watch kitchen sink British movies with the working class from Manchester it will all be cake!

 

Either that or seriously, find dvd's with subtitles for the English!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a fan of Marlon Brando and I agree that ON THE WATERFRONT is a great movie featuring an amazing performance by Brando.

The movie has been so hyped that when I saw it for the first time a few years ago I was  expecting to discover that is was overrated.

Boy, was I proven wrong!

The movie deserves all the accolades it's received over the years . . and then some. 

Brando's artistry and talent shines in this movie. Like Geraldine Page, Brando gives a performance that is at once amazingly real and artfully crafted. (It is a shame that Brando and Page never made a movie together.)  

 

Another favorite movie of mine about working class characters is SILKWOOD. The movie stars Meryl Streep in the title role of Karen Siilkwood, a real person who tried to expose unsafe conditions at the Oklahoma plutonium plant where she worked and who died in a mysterious car "accident." 

The movie features wonderful supporting performances by Kurt Russell and Cher.

Some details were changed for the movie, notably in regard to the character played by Cher (her character in the movie was a composite of at least two real people), but SILKWOOD has a feeling of "realness" that is rarely seen in mainstream movies.    

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a fan of Marlon Brando and I agree that ON THE WATERFRONT is a great movie featuring an amazing performance by Brando.

The movie has been so hyped that when I saw it for the first time a few years ago I was  expecting to discover that is was overrated.

Boy, was I proven wrong!

The movie deserves all the accolades it's received over the years . . and then some. 

Brando's artistry and talent shines in this movie. Like Geraldine Page, Brando gives a performance that is at once amazingly real and artfully crafted. (It is a shame that Brando and Page never made a movie together.)  

 

That's when he really cared.

 

When he was forced into being in 'Desiree', that changed - his detesting of the business set in hard.

 

Sometimes he cared (The Young Lions, The Ugly American, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Godfather) but usually he was just playing off his name for money.

 

And yet, he had such an amazing gift - such intuition and uniqueness of style, look, and delivery - that even his lesser performances are fascinating to watch, over and over.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a fan of Marlon Brando and I agree that ON THE WATERFRONT is a great movie featuring an amazing performance by Brando.

The movie has been so hyped that when I saw it for the first time a few years ago I was  expecting to discover that is was overrated.

Boy, was I proven wrong!

The movie deserves all the accolades it's received over the years . . and then some. 

Brando's artistry and talent shines in this movie. Like Geraldine Page, Brando gives a performance that is at once amazingly real and artfully crafted. (It is a shame that Brando and Page never made a movie together.)  

 

Another favorite movie of mine about working class characters is SILKWOOD. The movie stars Meryl Steep in the title role of Karen Siilkwood, a real person who tried to expose unsafe conditions at the Oklahoma plutonium plant where she worked and who died in a mysterious car "accident." 

The movie features wonderful supporting performances by Kurt Russell and Cher.

Some details were changed for the movie, notably in regard to the character played by Cher (her character in the movie was a composite of at least two real people), but SILKWOOD has a feeling of "realness" that is rarely seen in mainstream movies.    

 

I haven't seen Silkwood.  Thanks for your suggestion.  

 

I agree about Brando.  He was excellent in this film and his mumbling that normally annoys me worked well in On the Waterfront

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's when he really cared.

 

When he was forced into being in 'Desiree', that changed - his detesting of the business set in hard.

 

Sometimes he cared (The Young Lions, The Ugly American, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Godfather) but usually he was just playing off his name for money.

 

And yet, he had such an amazing gift - such intuition and uniqueness of style, look, and delivery - that even his lesser performances are fascinating to watch, over and over.

 

I hated Desiree.  You could tell that Brando didn't want to be there.  

 

I actually have The Young Lions and Reflections of a Golden Eye recorded on my DVR.  I'm glad to see that you liked these films.  I really want to see The Wild One, I haven't seen that film yet.  I'm not a fan of The Godfather, with exception of the horse head scene and the tollbooth scene, I thought the film was really boring.  Though I thought that Brando was good.  I'm not as big a fan of Brando in Guys and Dolls, mostly because I didn't want to hear him sing.  He sang "Luck Be a Lady" and I would have rather heard Sinatra sing it, who was right there! Lol. 

 

I thought Brando was really great in A Streetcar Named Desire.  Brando played his character so well that I absolutely loathed Stanley Kowalski by the end of the film.  His "Stella! Stella!" scene is an indelible moment in cinematic history. 

 

Have you seen Last Tango in Paris? I kind of want to see it because it's so controversial.  Is it worth it?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hated Desiree.  You could tell that Brando didn't want to be there.  

 

I actually have The Young Lions and Reflections of a Golden Eye recorded on my DVR.  I'm glad to see that you liked these films.  I really want to see The Wild One, I haven't seen that film yet.  I'm not a fan of The Godfather, with exception of the horse head scene and the tollbooth scene, I thought the film was really boring.  Though I thought that Brando was good.  I'm not as big a fan of Brando in Guys and Dolls, mostly because I didn't want to hear him sing.  He sang "Luck Be a Lady" and I would have rather heard Sinatra sing it, who was right there! Lol. 

 

I thought Brando was really great in A Streetcar Named Desire.  Brando played his character so well that I absolutely loathed Stanley Kowalski by the end of the film.  His "Stella! Stella!" scene is an indelible moment in cinematic history. 

 

Have you seen Last Tango in Paris? I kind of want to see it because it's so controversial.  Is it worth it?

I`ve seen last Tango in Paris.  I found Reflections in a Golden Eye to be more controversial, but that might be more because of Julie Harris than Brando.

 

I confess that I tend to put Guys and Dolls on mute when Brando is singing......

 

But I digress....

Back to Last Tango in Paris.

 

I thin it is worth seeing at least once.  It was a bit creepy, as far as  am concerned, but then it was really the last great movie he made, in my opinion.  It was a famous film and I wanted to see it because of that.  It is a great film.  It`s just  a bit creepy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I thin it is worth seeing at least once. 

 

The truth is OUT!!

 

Columbo fan's REAL identity is.........

 

RICKY RICARDO!

 

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

But there are some pretty good blue collar movies out there,, at least the characters  are what's known as "Blue Collar" workers, in that for years the term was in referrence to those who held manufacturing jobs, or also worked in mines and mills.  NOW lately, it just refers to half-witted hillbilly comedy.

 

STEEL AGAINST THE SKY is also a good "Blue Colar" film.  I like it due to my also being a 30 year "blue collar" worker for GM, and the movie doesn't, as some other movies seem to, present these laborers as not so bright, beer guzzling, barroom brawling , slack jawed and slow talking dolts.

 

Add HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY to the list.

 

The Richard Pryor movie BLUE COLLAR is one of those poor representations I just mentioned up there a bit.  Also, there's no continuity in it's display of Detroit and surrounding area.  For instance, in one segment, it shows Pryor driving past the Renaissance Center, which is on Jefferson Ave. then making a right turn, and THEN driving Northbound past the now defunct FLEETWOOD plant, which was about eight miles SOUTH of the Ren Cen, and on FORT STREET!

 

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hated Desiree.  You could tell that Brando didn't want to be there.  

 

I actually have The Young Lions and Reflections of a Golden Eye recorded on my DVR.  I'm glad to see that you liked these films.  I really want to see The Wild One, I haven't seen that film yet.  I'm not a fan of The Godfather, with exception of the horse head scene and the tollbooth scene, I thought the film was really boring.  Though I thought that Brando was good.  I'm not as big a fan of Brando in Guys and Dolls, mostly because I didn't want to hear him sing.  He sang "Luck Be a Lady" and I would have rather heard Sinatra sing it, who was right there! Lol. 

 

Brando said that he couldn't sing any better than a kangaroo.

 

He elaborated that he could carry a tune for just a few seconds before he would inevitably begin to go off key - so they had to record him in small bits. When they put all the bits together to make a whole song, he said it looked like he was singing without taking any breaths.

:lol:

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to Last Tango in Paris.

 

I thin it is worth seeing at least once.  It was a bit creepy, as far as  am concerned, but then it was really the last great movie he made, in my opinion.  It was a famous film and I wanted to see it because of that.  It is a great film.  It`s just  a bit creepy.

 

Everything in France is a bit creepy.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The truth is OUT!!

 

Columbo fan's REAL identity is.........

 

RICKY RICARDO!

 

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

But there are some pretty good blue collar movies out there,, at least the characters  are what's known as "Blue Collar" workers, in that for years the term was in referrence to those who held manufacturing jobs, or also worked in mines and mills.  NOW lately, it just refers to half-witted hillbilly comedy.

 

STEEL AGAINST THE SKY is also a good "Blue Colar" film.  I like it due to my also being a 30 year "blue collar" worker for GM, and the movie doesn't, as some other movies seem to, present these laborers as not so bright, beer guzzling, barroom brawling , slack jawed and slow talking dolts.

 

Add HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY to the list.

 

The Richard Pryor movie BLUE COLLAR is one of those poor representations I just mentioned up there a bit.  Also, there's no continuity in it's display of Detroit and surrounding area.  For instance, in one segment, it shows Pryor driving past the Renaissance Center, which is on Jefferson Ave. then making a right turn, and THEN driving Northbound past the now defunct FLEETWOOD plant, which was about eight miles SOUTH of the Ren Cen, and on FORT STREET!

 

 

Sepiatone

LOL!

 

I love I Love Lucy.

 

I'm female, but hey, yes the spell check thing only works if you spell a word incorrectly, not if you spell a word that exists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CLASH BY NIGHT was on yesterday and I caught parts of it. I've seen it once before in entirety and did not like it.

It is, however, most definitely as clear an example of a blue collar movie as I can think.

As much as I like the cast of this film, I just thought the movie was boring.  Which being boring is probably one of the worst sins that a movie can commit.  I can handle absurd, stupid, camp, whatever, if it's entertaining.  If it's boring, then I'm done with it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I like the cast of this film, I just thought the movie was boring.  Which being boring is probably one of the worst sins that a movie can commit.  I can handle absurd, stupid, camp, whatever, if it's entertaining.  If it's boring, then I'm done with it.

I did not find it boring.  Then again, I have never found Robert Ryan boring. That might be why...

 

In any case,  I had seen this movie fairly recently, so I did no re-watch it when it aired on Friday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...