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VERY DISAPPOINTING TRANSFER OF AN AMERICAN CLASSIC
on March 10, 2003
Columbia continues its downward spiral where its classic DVD output is concerned. "On The Waterfront" is not only a great Academy Award winning film, it is an American icon. The plot is concerned with a union stooge, Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) who eventually realizes that the intimidation racket of his boss, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) is an evil and destructive force in his community. Eva Marie Saint costars as Edie Doyle, the sister of a man who was thrown off of a rooftop on Friendly's orders. It is partially through her love and the stoic commitment of Father Barry (Carl Malden) that Terry reforms his ways. Rod Steiger is particularly effective as Charley Malloy, Terry's brother.
Quite simply: this transfer is a let down. Contrast levels are extremely low, fine details are lost in video noise reduction enhancement and digital grit, grain and noise are detected throughout. The gray scale is poorly balanced. Scratches, chips and distortions in the original camera negative stick out like a soar thumb. The audio is mono and undistinguished. It's not a bad mix, though there are moments where a slight background hiss crops up. No extras! Oh, come on Columbia. This is one of your BEST PICTURES and it gets this kind of treatment on DVD?!? It "could'a been a contenda'!"