Rating: 5, World-shaker
This movie is a world-shaker. It is very inspiring and really makes me want to stand up to the Jonny Friendly's of the world. The internal struggle with Terry Malloy and how his conscience weighs on him to do what's right is very inspiring.
The movie realistically shows the difficulty of changing your philosophy on life and how crucial role models are, especially those of family. The film showed how much Terry loved his brother Charly (and vice-a-versa). This is particularly evident in the famous "I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody..." scene. When Charly got killed the contrast of this brotherly love and the supposed "family" bond of the union bosses clearly teaches the important influence (for good or bad) family members can have on each other.
Another important message is the pastor's humility and his realization of the need to stand up and practice what is preached.
Terry's choice to be a "canary" lets him see who his real friends are.
I felt disgusted as the longshoremen just looked on and didn't seem to care when Terry took on Johnny and his cronies. Maybe the longshoremen weren't supposed to get into it, but they sure did out number them, they cared more about their jobs under corrupt union bosses (their lives could have been at stake, but when they out number them what could they do?) than breaking free and standing up for what's right. If you've never seen this, make it a point to do so and tell us what you think.