Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

'On The Waterfront' On Criterion: Frank Sinatra Was Originally Cast In The Lead, Martin Scorsese's Thoughts & Aspect Ratio Talk

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist February 21, 2013 at 6:42PM

Elia Kazan's unimpeachable 1954 classic picture "On The Waterfront" is out on Blu-Ray/DVD via the Criterion Collection this week in a beautifully packaged two disc edition. While he was well on his way to becoming known as one of the world's greatest actors -- he was nominated for Best Actor three years in a row between 1952 and 1954 -- Marlon Brando's first Oscar win came for "On The Waterfront" in 1955.
1

On The Waterfront, Scorsese
Elia Kazan's unimpeachable 1954 classic picture "On The Waterfront" is out on Blu-Ray/DVD via the Criterion Collection this week in a beautifully packaged two disc edition. While he was well on his way to becoming known as one of the world's greatest actors  -- he was nominated for Best Actor three years in a row between 1952 and 1954 -- Marlon Brando's first Oscar win came for "On The Waterfront" in 1955.

We'll be diving into some of Kazan's work a bit deeper tomorrow, but in the meantime, Criterion's cooked up some of their own goodies, including an interview with Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones (the directors of the personal Kazan documentary, "A Letter To Elia") about the film -- one of the "Raging Bull" director's favorites -- that you can see below. They DVD boutique label also has some trivia and a very interesting aspect ratio video essay helpful for those that need an introduction to aspect ratios and what they mean for cinema, but also something much more interesting. 

It turns out it's not 100% clear what aspect ratio "On The Waterfront" should be presented in (or at least there's always been a strong debate; cinematographer Boris Kaufman's impeccable black-and-white framing was shot in a way that could fit several formats). So to be fair Criterion has restored and presented the film in a trio of  aspect ratios 1.66:1, 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 frames. Confused? Watch the essay below, it's quite excellent and will explain it all.

Additionally, two cool pieces of trivia you may not know: Frank Sinatra was originally cast as Terry Malloy, the longshoreman lead of the film that Brando eventually went on to play. Evidently producer Sam Spiegel guilt-tripped Brando into the role by making the case that Kazan had made his career with "A Streetcar Named Desire" and he "owed" the director one. This anecdotal piece of trivia about the famous "I coulda been a contendah" taxi cab scene is amazing.

Brando’s contract stipulated that he was allowed to leave the set every day at 4 p.m. to attend sessions with his psychoanalyst. As a result, he did not read his lines to Rod Steiger when it came time to film Steiger’s close-ups during the famous taxicab scene; Kazan did instead. Steiger took umbrage, and relations between the two actors remained frosty for decades.

"On The Waterfront" is out on DVD/Blu-Ray now.

This article is related to: Elia Kazan, On The Waterfront, The Criterion Collection, Criterion Collection, Martin Scorsese


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates