In this Elia Kazan-directed film, with a beautiful-yet-haunting music score by Leonard Bernstein, Marlon Brando plays the part of Terry Malloy, an ex-boxer who "could have been a contender," he says. Malloy is now an apathetic "bum" who walks the streets and spends much time working at a pier on the waterfront of New York. The mean union mogul Johnny Friendly (played perfectly by the stalwart Lee J. Cobb) likes Terry, until he tells the truth in court about him. The very attractive Doyle lady, whose brother Joey Doyle was killed by union thugs, becomes an inspiration for him when he dares to go against the thugs who killed Joey. Because he became a "canary" against Friendly, they want to kill him. And even though he gets beaten terribly, after he beats Friendly, he won't stop;yes, he's made his comeback, and has ceased being apathetic. Eva Marie Saint is at one of her best roles, and this is her first acting feat she has ever performed. Karl Malden is strong as the brave and sometimes-rough priest Father Barry. While this is not the "prettiest" story ever seen, it does make a good point, is realistic, and the acting is very good. It has many Oscar-worthy elements of a movie, which is why it won the Best Picture Award of 1954.