****/**** Image A- Sound B Extras B
starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger
screenplay by Budd Schulberg
directed by Elia Kazan
by Walter Chaw There is a moment in the middle of Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront that stands out for me as one of the defining in my love of movies. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) confesses to his girlfriend Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint) that he was involved in the Union execution of her brother, but rather than listen to Terry rehash events with which we're already familiar, a steam whistle drowns him out. The precise way that Terry moves his hands and the expression on Edie's face, growing from a gentle concern to horror, is among the most cinematic moments in the history of the medium. It's breathtaking in its simplicity and subtlety, revolutionary in its presentation and its eye, and exactly the right choice for the film at the right moment.