The 1954 film about conscience and courage in corrupt labor unions has deservedly attained mythic status, but it is to the credit of this fine production that eventually one begins to think less of the classic movie and to become quite absorbed in this adaptation. The strongest performances are those by Bruce Davison (as the priest), whose thrilling dockside sermon brings applause from the audience; Rebecca Pidgeon, who emphasizes Edie Doyle's intelligence as much as her vulnerability; and Hector Elizondo, who makes racketeer Johnny Friendly into a believable and lethal thug. Jeffrey Donovan plays Terry Malloy, the ex-prize-fighter in love with Edie. He is at his best in Terry's later scenes of conviction. The sound effects are rich and evocative.
Terry Malloy, the "seemingly soulless street survivor," unwittingly lures a rebellious longshoreman to his death in Budd Schulberg's searing drama about the New York waterfront, the racketeering unions controlling it, and the kid who "coulda been a contender."
"It is to the credit of this fine production that eventually one begins to think less of the classic movie and to become quite absorbed in this adaptation...The sound effects are rich and evocative." (AudioFile)