“On the Waterfront” Blu-ray Unboxing

I went to Barnes & Noble once again, and picked up a fantastic film: On the Waterfront (1954), directed by Elia Kazan (Gentleman’s Agreement, A Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden) and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and Eva Marie Saint. It really is a great film; Criterion provides a synopsis:

“Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfront follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars®, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay.” I took a few pictures just in case anyone wanted a closer look at Criterion’s Blu-ray release of the film:

IMG-20130730-00675 IMG-20130730-00676 IMG-20130730-00677 IMG-20130730-00678 IMG-20130730-00679 IMG-20130730-00680 IMG-20130730-00682 IMG-20130730-00681 IMG-20130730-00683 IMG-20130730-00684 IMG-20130730-00685 IMG-20130730-00686 IMG-20130730-00687 IMG-20130730-00689 IMG-20130730-00691 IMG-20130730-00693 IMG-20130730-00694 IMG-20130730-00696 IMG-20130730-00697 IMG-20130730-00698 IMG-20130730-00699 IMG-20130730-00700 IMG-20130730-00701 IMG-20130730-00702 IMG-20130730-00704 IMG-20130730-00703

I have yet to watch the film as I have several DVDs from the library that I need to watch, but once I’m finished with those I will definitely watch this film. Criterion has provided three versions of the film, 1.33:1, 1.66:1, and 1.85:1, adhering to how the film was projected back in 1954. The first disc has the 1.66:1 version with all of the bonus features (which there are many), and the second disc has the 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 versions. Here’s a great video essay that discusses the three different aspect ratios of On the Waterfront:

I can’t wait to watch this film in high-definition and dig through all of the bonus features, which includes:

  • Audio commentary by authors Richard Schickel and Jeff Young
  • New conversation between filmmaker Martin Scorsese and critic Kent Jones
  • Elia Kazan: Outsider (1982), an hour-long documentary
  • New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with scholar Leo Braudy, critic David Thomson, and others
  • New interview with actor Eva Marie Saint
  • Interview with director Elia Kazan from 2001
  • Contender: Mastering the Method, a 2001 documentary on the film’s most famous scene
  • New interview with longshoreman Thomas Hanley, an actor in the film
  • New interview with author James T. Fisher about the real-life people and places behind the film
  • Visual essay on Leonard Bernstein’s score
  • Visual essay on the aspect ratio
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda, Kazan’s 1952 defense of his House Un-American Activities Committee testimony, one of the 1948 Malcolm Johnson articles that inspired the film, and a 1953 piece by screenwriter Budd Schulberg

All info courtesy of Criterion.com.

Thanks for reading!


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