Elia Kazan: Born on Sept 7, 1909

Posted: Sep 08, 2010 11:19 AM
He was shunned by many Hollywood types for having named names to Sen McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee. His response to those who derided him was the epic movie "On The Waterfront." In it, Marlon Brando plays a down and out boxer who is moved to testify against his union mobster brother, who runs the docks with an iron hand.
Everyone knows and loves the "I could'a been a contenda" speech. But in this, the 2nd most famous scene in this 1954 classic (which garnered Kazan an Oscar), Karl Malden's Father Barry visits the docks to rally the working men to speak out against the mob's brutality.
When was the last time Hollywood portrayed a priest as the hero in a movie and the conscience of a film--not to mention portraying Unions as thuggish?
This may be Karl Malden's finest performance.