Sunday, February 21, 2010

Belated Sadie Hawkins Valentine's Day

TCM is showing On the Waterfront at 8:00 PM this evening. They've been running a "Word of Mouth" piece about the movie in which several more current actors discuss the movie and the influence it had on them. One of the actors (I think it's Edward Norton) comments that it's actually a good movie for women, and the wouldn't go out with any woman who doesn't like On the Waterfront. It's an interesting thought.

Yes, the movie is mostly about men, and very masculine topics. Not only is it set on the docks, with manual labor, but there's a good deal of violence in the form of the union-initiated violence, and the fact of Marlon Brando's having been a boxer. Some of that boxer's violence comes out later in the movie when Brando goes running up to Eva Marie Saint's apartment, where he breaks down the door and kisses her against her will when she won't let him in.

That kiss, however, is part of what makes the movie one for women. Well, not just that women want to see kissing and cuddling on the screen more than men do, but that this is emblematic of the fact that On the Waterfront is about more than the violence, but about one man's struggle against that violence, helped both by a man of God (Karl Malden), and the woman he falls in love with.

I don't know that I would go quite so far as to have the attitude that how dare women not like On the Waterfront, but it is a movie that, in spite of it violent themes, offers a lot for women.

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