Edie is wearing a slip when Terry barges into her bedroom. At first Edie puts up a front, but finally submits to Terry’s advances.


A man and woman kiss a few times.


In one scene, Terry says that he needs to get Edie home because there are too many men around with only one thing on their minds.


Terry is shown looking at a magazine with women in swimsuits briefly, but nothing is really visible.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


There are some movies, when you watch it again and again, you can still find new surprises. Maybe this is the power of classics! I can’t remember how many times I watched Kazan’s 1954 masterpiece “the wharf situation”, but I was still excited when Criterion Collection, the most famous art film DVD publisher in the United States, recently released a newly repaired version of “the wharf situation”. In this repaired version, CC launched three versions of 1.66:1, 1.85:1 and 4:3 in one breath, allowing fans to feel the classic charm again from different angles such as wide screen and depth of field.

“Wharf wind and cloud” tells a story about “conscience”. In this film based on real news reports, we can see the extreme reality style that has never appeared in American films before. As Martin Scorsese said in his interview with CC video, Kazan’s “wharf wind and cloud” is to American films as Robert Rossini’s “Rome, an undefended city” is to Italian films. Compared with the popular “black film” at that time, the moral speculative color contained in the story of “wharf wind and cloud” seems to have more discussion on group values. “Black film” often focuses on the protagonist’s dilemma of individual moral choice, while “wharf situation” radiates the individual confusion once. The success of the trade union against the underworld forces should not only be attributed to the protagonist’s single handedness, but also rely on the collective awakening and common struggle of the dock workers. Kazan poured the temperament of “black film” into this film with obvious social criticism. Kazan found a perfect fit between the pursuit of dramatic expression effect and highlighting the real demands with realism. The story line of the wharf workers overthrowing the dark trade union itself constructs an external contradiction and opposition mode. While taking this as the main line, Kazan evolves the hero Terry Malloy’s own awakening of moral conscience and the love story with EVA’s Edie into the internal emotional tension of the film, making the narrative climax one after another.

Marlon Brando’s downcast boxer Terry inadvertently became an accomplice to Johnny, the corrupt boss of the trade union, because of his brother Charlie. At the beginning of the film, we saw Terry coming out of a group of trade union corrupt elements. Young and powerful, he is no different from those sinister and fat gang members. However, after the short light at the beginning of the film, the scene quickly changed from the open wharf to the dark alley in the workers’ accommodation area. In the criminal section at the beginning of the film, the shadows cast by the building guardrail and stairs are cross edited with the silhouette of the criminals standing on the roof. The angle of the camera is extremely inclined, which makes people shudder. What is more unacceptable to the audience is that the young man just acted as an accomplice in the murder. Unfortunately, he was deceived, “I thought they just wanted to teach him a lesson”. The death of Edie’s brother makes Terry a key witness. At this moment, the film officially enters the part with the theme of “conscience”. Will he fall in love with Edie and witness the cruelty of the gang? Will he finally wake up and choose to be an “informant”?

Terry repeatedly changes two identities in the film: “beggar” and “informant”. When he served the gangs, they called him a “beggar”. When he chose to testify in court, he was also called an “informant”. From this, we can see that Terry’s life is always influenced by the choices of others. When he was a boxer, he deliberately lost the game because of gangster interests. Now he can’t tell the truth because of his brother. In the wharf wind and cloud, Kazan uses countless scene frame compositions to show the protagonist’s imprisoned life, such as the iron fence of the wharf, the pigeon cage on the roof, the glass windows of the church, and even the crowded crowd in the bar. The protagonist is controlled and manipulated. He wants to make a choice, but there is nothing he can do now. There are three people who can help him out: Edie, brother Charlie and the priest.

For Edie, Terry has a sense of atonement, but the old-fashioned plot of transforming this sense of atonement into love is really unconvincing. But Kazan and Brando, they have the power to turn decay into magic. In the scene where the protagonists and heroines interact for the first time, we see that the dockers are fooled by the Mafia trade unions, and they even lose the minimum dignity of being human. At this time, Edie, as a weak woman, chose to stand up and let Terry see a kind of courage he didn’t have. In two crucial scenes: outside the church and in the bar, Terry completed the transformation from atonement to love and then to self redemption. If Terry’s chat-up outside the church is just an attraction between ordinary men and women, the conversation in the bar makes us understand that these are two people who are trapped by their conscience but make the opposite choice. Somewhere in the film, Edie’s pale face and hair are placed somewhere in the upper right corner of the screen, while Terry is in the middle below, like a guardian angel hovering over his head. The love between Edie and Terry is depicted in the film as the result of some kind of moral complementarity. But in the eyes of the audience, it is more like a one-time display of Brando’s charm. In the play outside the church, Terry’s entanglement with Edie is a direct expression of this sexual charm, and Edie’s “love at first sight” for Terry also stems from this sexual attraction to a large extent. Although the exploration of this point in wharf is far less than that in streetcar desire after Kazan cooperated with Brando, when Terry smashed Edie’s house door with violence, we will find the shadow of Brando and Vivien Li in streetcar desire in a trance.

Terry has the most touching family relationship with his brother Charlie. This is due to Brando’s outstanding acting talent. We didn’t enter Terry’s family in the film, and we didn’t know his family background. Charlie is a symbol of destruction for Terry in the first half of the film. He uses Terry’s trust in him to make him do something against his conscience. In the second half, Charlie is a symbol of redemption. Two of my favorite scenes in the dock are about Charlie. One is the famous scene in the back seat of a taxi (Martin Scorsese quoted this paragraph directly in the angry bull). Charlie was ordered by the gang boss to persuade Terry to “turn around” and even did not hesitate to pull out a pistol to threaten his brother, but this scene is not violent and intense. Kazan turned it into one of the softest scenes in the film. We saw the expressions on Charlie and Terry’s faces, which were so painful and sad under the dim street lights. Brando slowly narrated his strangled dream. “I could have been a boxer.” he stroked love’s face, put his hand on the pistol his brother pointed at him, and then slowly pushed it away, “Oh, Charlie!” “Who can express his deep pain in a reproachful, loving and sad tone?” (Kazan) this is definitely one of the most moving scenes in film history. The two brothers are mourning their lost love. After that, Terry got out of the car where the lights were bright, but Charlie continued to stay in the car. The taxi turned around the corner and drove into the dark. In the scene where Terry found Charlie was killed, the distant truck roared towards Terry with flashing lights. At this time, Edie appeared in the light. Her arrival saved Terry. They escaped the danger of being run over by the truck. After the truck went away, the alley should have returned to the darkness again, but a faint light lit up in front of Terry, There’s Charlie’s body hanging.

The priest is another important role in saving Terry. As the Savior of the soul, Terry heard the priest’s inspiring speech when a rebel was deliberately killed in the cabin. The priest’s image in the film is more like a leader of the working class. He is the most firm opponent of the gang forces. At the same time, he is angry at the lack of unity of the workers and tries to unite the workers against the dark forces with his strength. In one scene in the film, when Terry went to the priest to confess, the priest asked him to go to another priest. But when Terry said it was about Edie’s brother’s death, the priest immediately said, “son, I think we should talk.”. The image of the priest has a distinctive left-wing color. Although the “awakened informer” in the wharf is the center of the film, we can’t avoid the theme of class struggle.

“The wharf wind and cloud” is widely regarded as Kazan’s work to defend himself. From 1938 to 1975, the U.S. House of Representatives established an investigation committee – the anti American Activities Committee to investigate anti communism. Shortly before the shooting of the film, Kazan had just testified before the Committee against several colleagues implicated in the Communist Party. “Informant” is a moral burden that Kazan can’t unload in his life. In the wharf situation, he intends to use the role of Terry to clarify that he is only bewitched and used by the “gangster” for a while. In the film, a trade union boss said “you betrayed us, Terry”, and Terry replied, “I’m standing here now. For so many years, I’ve been deceiving myself, but I don’t know.”. Here, Terry became an “informant” and he was excluded, but soon he became a symbol of moral awakening. At the end of the film, Terry fell in the contest with Johnny, but in exchange for the unity of the workers, they finally have the courage to say “no” to the trade union. Although Kazan tries to defend his whistle blowing behavior in the wharf, we still find that his argument is contradictory. The just forces in the wharf are the working class, while the evil forces are the bourgeoisie greedy for interests. As a former representative of the left-wing front, Kazan can’t say goodbye to his past so easily. Therefore, the wharf is contradictory to Kazan. We can still see this contradiction in his later works such as a dream of climbing the dragon, America, America and so on. Most of the power of wharf comes from its “aggressiveness”. The film was shot on the spot in New York. It was very cold that winter. We can clearly see the white breath exhaled by the characters when they speak in the film, and a large number of mass actors in the film are also played by real dock workers. Kazan tried to use “truth” to attack “hypocrisy”, which was a counterattack against the accusation of informant. Defending himself was not the main purpose. The most important thing was to expose the “hypocrisy” of those critics who criticized him.

Terry’s theme of “conscience” is also associated with the theme of “freedom” in the wharf. If we put aside the famous case in the history of film, we will find that there is something more exciting in Terry. “Conscience” is only one side of the film, and the “freedom” on the other side needs to be explored by the audience. In the film, Terry repeatedly came to the roof where Edie’s brother was killed, where he kept a group of pigeons. Terry often sits on the roof in a daze. Pigeons are the only color about freedom in his trapped life, and the barbed wire on the roof seems to remind the audience of the similarities between Terry and pigeons. You will never forget the touching conversations between Terry and Edie on the top floor. It seems to be about pigeons, but it’s OK to replace the pigeons with himself. In Marlon Brando’s great acting skills, Terry’s appearance “has changed the performance of American films forever”. The exaggerated and funny acting style pursued by Hollywood has disappeared in Wharf wind and cloud, and we have seen a more viable way of performance. Brando’s symbolic movements when facing the camera convey complex emotional information to the audience. In the scene of Terry and Edie outside the church, Edie accidentally lost one of his gloves. Terry picked it up and inadvertently put the glove on his hand. We can’t talk about Brando’s performance when talking about the wharf. In Kazan’s film, we witnessed the rise of a great star.

What attracts the audience about “wharf wind and cloud” lies in its rough sense of documentary; Lies in its inheritance of the tradition of “black film”; Also lies in Brando’s great performance; It also lies in Kazan’s internal contradiction in the choice of “conscience”. Whether it’s a sense of guilt or some kind of hatred, in short, a magical force prompted Kazan to complete this masterpiece of film history. It’s more appropriate to describe Kazan with Terry’s classic line in the film, “conscience, that thing can drive you crazy”.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here