Along with 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire, also directed by Elia Kazan, this announced Brando as the new paragon of screen acting. His was a raw, unpredictable talent, one of guttural bursts, not crisp line readings. Here he plays Terry Malloy, a former boxer and current longshoreman caught between a corrupt union and his conscience. Kazan certainly saw parallels in the story with his recent decision to testify against fellow filmmakers before the House Un-American Activities Committee during its Communist witch-hunt. Such undercurrents never overwhelm the movie, however – how could they with the spotlight on Brando? The actor’s secret – even in his last, most bizarre performances – was the ability to make us nervous, and that talent is on full display here. Terry is as likely to hug someone as punch them, and Brando emphasizes that unpredictability in each scene.