(Review originally written at 30 July 2010)
This is movie making at its best and purest. It's a movie that shows that all you really need to create a movie is a good script and some wonderful actors.
But of course you don't do this movie justice by saying that only its story and acting is good. The movie is one that is great at basically every level and it's why the movie still hasn't lost any of its strength.
It's story is actually quite simple but gets driven by its great characters. I love how the characters get build up and put down in this movie, not just by its actors but also its great script and brilliant directing. It are the characters that keep the movie and its events going at all time and is what makes it such a throughout intriguing and powerful one. The movie feels realistic, which makes all of the emotion of the characters and events work out so effectively. It's a story with some great elements in it and is foremost about standing up for your rights and make and live your own life.
I honestly don't know how good this movie would had been without Elia Kazan's directing. It's so spot on. He has an incredible eye for the development of the story and characters, which makes the movie progress perfectly. He at the same time also had an eye for its environments, which work out very moody for the movie. The movie has a constantly mist like feeling and look over it, which just suits the story and its characters perfectly.
Most of the actors give the performance of their life in this movie. I can say that this is Marlon Brando's best performance out of his career. It was also the movie that won him his first Oscar, which he still picked up himself and did not send in a fake Indian to collect it. Another person that won an acting Oscar for this movie was Eva Marie Saint, who actually made her film debut in this movie. And what a great career Karl Malden actually had, looking at the role he has played throughout the years. This one is up their with his very best ones. And how great was Lee J. Cobb in this? A perfect classic villain, with still an overall sense of realism to him. Basically every actor did a wonderful job in this no matter how small and short their roles were.
A pure and perfect movie. Film-making at its very best.