In 1952, the House of Un-American Activities Committee (which led investigations into possible pro-Communist propaganda in Hollywood) called director Elia Kazan to provide the names of people that were in the Communist party. After initially refusing to give up any names, he relented and named eight former members of the Group Theater. Afterwards, Kazan lost a lot of friends in the film industry.
So where does On the Waterfront come into all of this? Some people believe that this film was Elia Kazan’s apology, or his excuse, to Hollywood for his actions in the HUAC scandal. Whatever your opinion of Kazan is, there’s no denying that he gave us some great films (East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire). And On the Waterfront is absolutely one the best movies I have ever seen in my life.
Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) is an ex-prize fighter who finds himself…
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