Saturday, May 31, 2008

Edge of the City (Martin Ritt, 1957) C

Martin Ritt's Edge of the City tries too hard to be Stanley Kramer meets On the Waterfront with it's take on 50's race relations and many of the same plot points from that Elia Kazan classic (down to the fight on the pier and a main character named Charlie). It's as if the film can't decide if it wants to be a morality story about standing up against corruption or a love story between an educated woman (Kathleen Maguire) and a lowly dockworker (John Cassavetes) and consequently juggles them both awkwardly. By the end, neither is completely developed or ended properly. The only storyline that moves forward is one that concerns Cassavetes and another dockworker (Sidney Poitier) who befriends him. It's not especially interesting because nothing really happens between them, but Poitier is as charming and potent as always. It's hardly his most interesting role, but I always enjoy seeing him do his thing.

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