On the Waterfront
1954
****
Director: Elia Kazan
Cast: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, Eva Marie Saint

A ruthless gangster has a stranglehold on the port and its workers. A dockworker (and former boxer) fights with his conscience whether to let his own brother down and stand against the mob boss. This very compelling but slightly overrated drama is based on newspaper articles about real-life corruption on the waterfront. Marlon Brando earned an Oscar for his strong(ly mumbling) performance. The film produced seven additional Academy Award winners, which include Eva Marie Saint for her performance, Budd Schulberg for his screenplay and Elia Kazan for directing. The film’s famous quote “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am” reappears in Raging Bull and Boogie Nights.