Published Jan 2010
‘I could’ve been a contender, I could’ve been somebody.’
Former boxer Terry Malloy and his brother Charley, the crooked lawyer known to all as ‘The Gent’, are members of the tough, mobster-connected New York Longshoremen Union, run by Johnny Friendly. Johnny and his goons rule the waterfront with an iron fist. If you want to stay alive, you do things Johnny’s way: plead ‘D&D’ – deaf and dumb.
Slow-witted and illiterate, Terry is happy to do any work he can get. But when he is caught up in on of Johnny’s rub-outs, a conscience begins to form. Katie is the face of that conscience. Sister to the murdered man, she is torn between her belief that Terry killed her brother and her growing love for him. Together with the idealistic Catholic priest, Father Peter Barry, Terry and Katie attempt to take on the gangster-ridden waterfront unions of Johnny Friendly, but at severe personal cost to themselves.
‘On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando, achieved massive critical acclaim and went on to win eight Oscars, including Best Film, as well as Best Actor for Brando and Best Screenplay for Schulberg. ‘On the Waterfront is rightly considered a modern classic and remains a powerful and enduring read.