Terry Malloy undergoes numerous physical changed throughout the film as his perspective changes. These include:
Joey’s jacket: Edie gives Terry Joey’s jacket. At first Terry is hesitant to wear it but as his morals and perspectives change he is show wearing the jacket in the final scenes.
Terry is resistant to testify against Friendly and the mob because he is aware of how powerful they are and the consequences that he will have to face if he does so. His brother Charley and Terry are both being looked after by the union, they are always given the chance to work and are rewarded for doing Friendly’s dirty work. Another reason Terry is unwilling testify is because he doesn’t want to be known as a ‘rat’.
The significant incident that made Terry change him mind was the death of Charley.
Edie changes Terry as a person; she shows him a different philosophy on life. Terry shows a lot more dignity, sympathy and morals throughout the film after developing a relationship with Edie. Because Edie believes in Terry, he feels a lot more guilty and realises that he has a responsibility towards others.
Although Terry was the one who loured Joey onto the roof, he is also a victim of the incident. It becomes quite obvious that Terry wasn’t fully aware of what the men were going to do to Joey, after he was murdered Terry’s actions show that he is feeling guilty for the death of Joey. However, some would say that Terry was naive not to realise what the men would do, especially when he knew the reason behind it – ratting.
**Edie runs away from Terry a number of times throughout the film. This is because
Edie’s physical appearance change throughout the film. At the start of the film she is viewed with ‘young’ girl look. As her relationship with Terry progresses she seems to have a more sophisticated, older look.
Although Terry is responsible for the death of Joey, Edie’s brother, Edie still engages in a relationship with him. At the start of the film Terry gains Edie’s attention with his charm. It’s after Terry saves her in the church that she begins to be drawn to him. She begins to sense gentleness in her when he tells her about his childhood and when she sees him with the pigeons. A significant part in their relationship is when Edie witnesses Terry punch Tullio to stop him throwing food and beer cans, demonstrating the person Terry is becoming.
**Another priest is present in the church cellar scene because
Edie’s words ‘Did you ever hear of a saint hiding in a church’ provoke Father Barry to take action by making him feel guilty and feeling as he should step up to his role. By doing this Father Barry is a catalyst for the significant changes in the film as he tries to make the men do the right thing, he tells them that they won’t be ‘ratting’ they will just be telling the truth. This statement gives some of the men more of an incentive to speak up. Despite being pelted with fruit and beer cans after his speech over the death of Dugan, he doesn’t stop challenging the men to stand up.
To the other characters in the film, Charley is known as Charley the gent. Charley is seen as a well educated business man who is Friendly’s right hand man. However the viewers of the film see a different side to him towards the end when he comes to realise he has used his brother and broken his trust, this leaving him crushed and results in him being murdered by the mob.
Charley and Terry have quite different personalities and have different philosophies on the importance of money and the value life however, they do have some similarities. Like Terry, Charley priorities and values change. Terry becomes more gentle and kind, and stands up for the corruption on the waterfront. Charley realises he has lacked love and care for his brother, which results in him sacrificing himself.
It can be interpreted that the man Friendly has become derived from his childhood. He has risen from a family of 10 children and had to beg for work at the age of 16.
**K.O Dugan decides to testify
Pop Doyle is given the words ‘he don’t need a doctor, he needs a priest’ because he knew that Dugan had been murdered, not injured. Pop new that the mob wouldn’t let anyone get away with ‘ratting’, and he knew Dugan had suffered the consequence.
**Pop is shown on the tray that lifts Dugan’s body out of the hold because
The director chose Pop to push Friendly into the river for revenge, both for his son’s death, and for 30 years of humiliation on the docks.
Although Jimmy Collins is a minor character in the film, he is placed there to express the feelings and thoughts of many of the other longshoremen, that there is nothing that they can do or say to stop the corrupt union.
In the ‘shape up’, the camera shoots Big Mac
When Big Mac hands out the tabs he holds them back until the workers cant bare it any longer. The workers shove Big Mac and he throws the tabs out so that the desperate workers will fight each other.
When Father Barry mentions Big Mac during his sermon over the body of Dugan, Big Mac seems unsympathetic even knowing that he is partly responsible for Dugan’s death.
Tullio and Truck
The director chose both Tullio and Truck to say ‘definitely’ at different times in the film because it showed that the men idolising Johnny Friendly were simply yes men, men who really couldn’t think for themselves.