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On the Waterfront
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On The Waterfront is one of the most critically acclaimed movies in the history of cinema. It was nominated for 12 Academy Awards in 1955, and won 8. It consistently ranks in the Top 100 of all major film lists.

Guest Blog: ON THE WATERFRONT: Survival against all odds

imageright: OtheW poster
Movie Poster French

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg.


It stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard Bernstein.

It is based on “Crime on the Waterfront“, a series of articles in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson.

The series won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. The stories detailed widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfronts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The movie was set across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey.

On the Waterfront received 12 Academy Award nominations, winning eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Brando, Best Supporting Actress for Saint, and Best Director for Kazan.

more on wiki

On the Waterfront – The Best American Film Ever Produced?
by Michael Mills


movie poster 1954; Belgium

On the Waterfront was filmed over 36 days on location in various places in Hoboken, New Jersey, including the docks, workers’ slum dwellings, bars, littered alleys, rooftops. Furthermore, some of the labor boss’s goons in the film – Abe Simon as Barney, Tony Galento as Truck and Tami Mauriello as Tullio – were actual former professional heavyweight boxers.

Protagonist Terry Malloy’s (Brando’s) fight against corruption was in part modeled after whistle-blowing longshoreman Anthony DiVincenzo, who testified before a real-life Waterfront Commission on the facts of life on the Hoboken Docks and had suffered a degree of ostracism for his deed.

DiVincenzo claimed to have recounted his story to screenwriter Budd Schulberg during a month-long session of waterfront barroom meetings.


Karl Malden’s character, Father Barry, was based on the real-life “waterfront priest” Father John M. Corridan, S.J., a Jesuit priest, graduate of Regis High School who operated a Roman Catholic labor school on the west side of Manhattan.

Father Corridan was extensively interviewed by Budd Schulberg, who wrote the foreword to a biography of Father Corridan, Waterfront Priest by Allen Raymond. The church used for the exterior scenes in the film was the historic Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken, built in 1874.

Son of a County Kerry-born policeman in New York’s Harlem, Corridan graduated from Manhattan’s Regis High School in 1928. Father Corridan was assigned to the Xavier Institute of Industrial Relations on Manhattan’s West Side in 1946. He became a passionate advocate of reform in the International Longshoremen’s Association waterfront union.

Schulberg described Father Corridan as a “tall, youthful, balding, energetic, ruddy-faced Irishman whose speech was a fascinating blend of Hell’s Kitchen jargon, baseball slang, the facts and figures of a master in economics and the undeniable humanity of Christ.”

On the Waterfront is also on the Vatican’s list of 45 greatest films of all time.

On the Waterfront (1954)

“People had been discussing presentations of priests on screen. Somebody said one of their favourites was Karl Malden in On the Waterfront. It seemed to me that he was doing the John the Baptist/Elijah thing, especially in the sermon he gave to those working on the wharfs – running the risk of some kind of persecution from the powers that be.

He spoke so forcefully about God’s presence amongst those men in their ordinary work and likened their suffering to the Passion of Jesus. I think it’s one of the most moving sermons on screen.”

Faith in Film: listen to this podcast


video: On the Waterfront‘s Most Famous Scene


Cigarette Card – Midshipman Easy Player’s Cigarettes
“Characters From Fiction” (series of 25 issued in 1933) #13 Midshipman Easy
by Captain Frederick Merryat R.N.

Midshipman Easy is a 1935 British adventure film. A young man runs away from home, joins the navy and goes to sea in the 1790s. He rescues a captive woman from a Spanish ship and battles pirates and smugglers.  It was based on the 1836 novel Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat. (wiki)

Midshipman Easy at the Internet Movie Database


Thomas Moran
The Angry Sea
, 1911

1,125px × 830px on Cave to Canvas


Portsmouth Floating Dock
(2835 x 1732)

Names can be made out on two of the tugs. The one closest to the camera has the name MALTA on the paddle box and the one to the right of the floating dock has the name VOLCANO on the stern. She was built in 1900 and was renamed VOLATILE in 1914. Volcano was  a Dromedary class paddle tug. She was built by Barclay Curie, Glasgow in 1900 and was based at Portsmouth for all her working life being scrapped in 1957.  – posted by TimWebb


From the Handbuch der Naturgeschichte aller drei Reiche
(Manual of the Natural History of the Three Kingdoms), Stuttgart,1850
(via denizensofearth


Willie the Operatic Whale; Life, March 11, 1946 (more)
from thegildedcentury

The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met:

The bittersweet finale (of Make Mine Music) about a Sperm Whale with incredible musical talent and his dreams of singing Grand Opera. A legend is spread throughout the city that there is an opera-singing whale. It is assumed that the whale has swallowed an opera singer who is the one the sailors actually hear singing.

Upon hearing Willy sing, short-sighted impresario Tetti-Tatti comes to believe that Willy has swallowed not one, but THREE singers (due to his having three uvulae), and chases him with a harpoon.  The crewmen try to stop Tetti-Tatti from killing the whale, as they want to continue listening to him , even to the point of tying up Tetti-Tatti and sitting on him. 

In the end, Willie is harpooned and killed, but the narrator then explains that Willy’s voice will sing on in Heaven. Nelson Eddy narrated and performed all the voices in this segment, singing all three male voices in the first part of the Sextet from Donizetti’s opera, Lucia di Lammermoor.


Christmas and New Year 1918
HMS Agamemnon

Christmas and the New Year were a time of great celebration for the Royal Navy as shown in this postcard from the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Agamemnon from 1919. It was all the more of a celebration as the First World War had ended only a month before.


Noted Houston photographer Casey Williams died peacefully on January 1, after weeks in a coma brought on by complications from West Nile virus.

Known for his “found abstractions”, taken on the Houston ship channel, until (new Homeland Security rules curtailed his actiivties there in 2008), Williams persistent preoccupation with nuances of light and color led him to select his works from hundreds of shots.

more on OneEighteen


top: JOHN DUILLO (American, b. 1928)
Battle at Sea, men’s adventure magazine story illustration
Mixed media on board

bot: JOHN DUILLO (American, b. 1928)
Stranded at Sea, men’s adventure magazine story illustration
Gouache on board


Tip-Top Tales; British Story Papers
posted by by Print and Pulp


Crew of the Leinster

There were 771 people on board during the final voyage. The first torpedo to hit the ship struck on the port side in the vicinity of the postal sorting room. Twenty-one of the twenty-two postal sorters on duty were killed. Including Captain William Birch, Leinster had a crew of 77.

Two of the three Royal Naval men manning the ship’s gun were lost.  Of the 180 civilians on board, 115 were killed. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses from Ireland, Britain, United States, Canada, Australian and New Zealand (were) among those who died.

keep reading



Emprunt De La Defense Nationale c. 1914
Printed flyers agitating in support of the war effort
more on Bibliodyssey


The Earth: its Form and Position in Space — The Moon at the Full
Beauty of the Heavens
Astronomy illustrated in the 1840s


Frozen Air Bubbles in Abraham Lake

Photographer Fikret Onal explains the phenomenon: “The plants on the lake bed release methane gas and methane gets frozen once coming close enough to much colder lake surface and they keep stacking up below once the weather gets colder and colder during [the] winter season. This has made the lake famous among photographers.”


Crossing the Bridge in Portland, Maine
photo by Corey Templeton
see also Snow and City


artist: Anton Otto Fischer – LIFE magazine, 1943
The Campbell’s Epic

Painted by a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy who was there and lived through it all. I cannot imagine that history will ever again be recorded as it was; by these battlefield artists in the pages of LIFE magazine. Before television- LIFE magazine’s audience was literally the entire nation.

USCGC Campbell (WPG-32) on wikipedia


1935 advertisement from London Illustrated News
(1935 Jubilee Fleet Review edition)

(1285 x 1969)

imageThe British Power Boat Company was a British manufacturer of motor boats, particularly racing boats and later military patrol boats.

It was formed on 30 September 1927 when Hubert Scott-Paine bought and renamed the Hythe Shipyard with the intention of transforming it into one of the most modern mass production boat building yards in the country. Together with his chief designer, Fred Cooper, the company produced many racing boats which won numerous awards around Europe, including Miss England II and Miss Britain III.

From 1930 the British Power Boat Company supplied seaplane tenders to the Air Ministry. On 3 August 1931 the factory burnt to the ground, but was rapidly rebuilt as the most modern and efficient boatyard in Britain.

more on wiki

more: History of BRITISH POWER BOAT Co.


The British Power Boat Company
Artist: Richard Ernst Eurich


A Motor Boat of the British Power Boat Company, Hythe
by Richard Ernst Eurich

Richard Ernst Eurich, OBE, RA (14 March 1903 – 1992) was an English artist and landscape painter, of German Jewish descent, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

After the Bradford Art School, he continued his training at the Slade School of Art until 1926. His paintings feature landscapes, harbour views and industrial marine scenes.

During World War II Eurich received an honorary commission as a Captain in the Royal Marines and worked as an official war artist.

more on wiki


Motor Gun Boats, British Power Boat Company Limited
Hythe, Southampton; by Sybil Andrews

7 Paintings by Sybil Andrews on BBC


HM King George VI makes his way to Greenwich
April 27 1937 – artwork by Bryan De Grineau

This marine illustration, by artist Bryan De Grineau, was issued by the British Power Boat Company of Hythe, Southampton, UK on the reverse of the 1938 Portsmouth Navy Week Show programme. HM The King was on his way to Greenwich on the Thames to inaugurate the National Maritime Museum – the Admiral’s Barge he travels in and the torpedo boat escort were designed by Hubert Scott-Paine and built by the Power Boat Company.

Original (5848 x 4328)

see also: Portsmouth Navy Week 1938 – programme cover


A paddle steamer with a nearly 60-year career shipping people and supplies across British Columbia’s Kootenay Lake, the Moyie transported passengers in style.

The Moyie and its sister ship the Minto each spent over half a century in the mountain lakes of southwestern B.C. servicing towns such as Balfour, Kaslo and Nelson. An all-around worker, she spent some time as the only opportunity for dining on the train route early on and was considered a more luxurious way to cross the water, but continued with a variety of duties including some time serving as a tugboat.

keep reading on Atlas Obscura
image source

The SS Moyie National Historic Site

Lardeau run on the Moyie
on Sternwheelers on Kootenay Lake


Ice in the River Thames off Gravesend, 15 February 1895


A Sailor handles mooring lines
PEARL HARBOR (Jan. 3, 2013)


Arctic convoy: Iced up AA gun; 1943

“Guess what your job is today?”


Reg Carter postcard – Posted 3 July, 1924 from the Isle Of Wight


images for this post were enhanced with Mr Retro Photoshop Filters
(which Miss Monkey got for her birthday)

Adventures of the Blackgang on tumblr
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