On the Waterfront
By Budd Schulberg &
October 17, Kenilworth Public Library, @7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday, October 18 & 19, 7:30pm
Terry Malloy once dreamt of being a great prize fighter, but now works at the docks of Johnny Friendly, the corrupt boss of the dockers union. He witnesses a murder by a couple of Johnny's thugs, but won't betray Friendly, who is both his brother's (Rod Steiger) boss and a long-time friend of his family.
What he sees at the docks repulses Terry. In an economically depressed environment in which many are out of work, more gather by the docks each morning hoping to secure work for that day than can be hired, placing Johnny Friendly and his forces in a position to exploit them. Those who complain of the working conditions or wages one day don't work the next day, or are placed in harm's way. Consequently, most tolerate being abused.
After befriending both the sister of the murdered man and the local priest, Terry gradually becomes a man of deeper morality, and starts to speak of acts against Friendly, who will soon go on trial. Terry finds his breaking point when his brother is murdered by Friendly's thugs, and causes him to entertain thoughts of testifying against Friendly. Still, he struggles to find the courage to do so, until the priest persuades him to.
Once he betrays Friendly, Terry is without the work that always came his way when he and his brother were trusted and valued associates. Still, he confronts Friendly by the docks and when all the dock workers are witness to the brutal beating of Terry by Friendly, they refuse to work unless Terry is also allowed to work. This is the catalyst for a new tone of understanding between the workers and the dock bosses.
Terry had neither wanted nor intended to be a hero, but, as a man of principle, he had become not only a hero, but a symbol of the workers' intolerance of exploitation by the dock bosses.
Michael J. Skelly aka "Big" John "Johnny" Friendly
Charley "The Gent" Malloy
Timothy J. "Kayo" Dugan
Lead Investigator for Crime Commission
Gillette, Secondary Investigator for Crime Commission