Q: What Single Movie Image or Moment Do You Think About More Often Than Any Other? A:

Terry Malloy’s bloodied walk to the warehouse at the end of On the Waterfront.

Q: What Single Movie Image or Moment Do You Think About More Often Than Any Other? A:
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Terry Malloy’s bloodied walk to the warehouse at the end of On the Waterfront. Pretty much any moment from when he first stands up to when he stops in front of the foreman and drops his hook.

Admittedly, if you look past the lyrically naturalistic performances, the gritty locations and the brutality, it’s a very Old Hollywood ending, cornball in its adherence to commercial screenplay formula. But I still love it, because it’s beautiful and inspiring. The everyman succeeds in remaking his life, which means it’s possible for us to do the same. In his past, Terry let himself get knocked down and stayed down; in the present, he gets knocked down against his will, then gets back up.

Over to you.

This article was originally published on The House Next Door.

Matt Zoller Seitz

Matt Zoller Seitz is the founder and original editor of The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, he is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com and TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com.

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