In this scene from Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, Fr Barry has been called to Kayo’s body in the hold of a boat. He has been murdered on the order of corrupt union officials. Karl Malden plays Fr. Barry in the film. He is based on a real life character,
I came down here to keep a promise. I gave Kayo my word that if he stood up to the Mob….l’d stand up with him all the way. And now Kayo Dugan is dead. He was one of those fellows who had the gift for standing up. This time they fixed him. They fixed him for good this time, unless it was an accident… …like Big Mac says. Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up. Taking Joey Doyle’s life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion. Dropping a sling on Kayo Dugan. …because he was ready to spill his guts tomorrow…that’s a crucifixion. Every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man…..tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen, it’s a crucifixion. And anybody who sits around and lets it happen… …keeps silent about something he knows has happened, shares the guilt of it. …just as much as the Roman soldier……who pierced the flesh of Our Lord to see if He was dead.
Go back to your church, Father.
Boys, this is my church.
If you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront…
…you’ve got another guess coming!
Get off this dock, Father!
Tillio, don’t do that.
Whose side are you on, boy?
Let him finish.
Every morning… …when the hiring boss blows his whistle …Jesus stands alongside you in the shape-up. He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about getting their rent… …and getting food in the house for the wife and kids. He sees you selling your souls to the mob for a day’s pay.
The next bum that throws something deals with me! I don’t care if he’s twice my size!
What does Christ think of the easy-money boys… …who do none of the work and take all the gravy? How does he feel about the fellows who wear $ 150 suits…..and diamond rings on your union dues and your kickback money? And how does He, who spoke up without fear against every evil feel about your silence?
Shut up about that!
Just watch this. (Terry punches Tillio)
You see that?
You want to know what’s wrong with our waterfront? It’s the love of a lousy buck. It’s making love of a buck, the cushy job….more important than the love of man. It’s forgetting that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ. But remember, Christ is always with you. Christ’s in the shape-up, in the hatch, in the union hall. He’s kneeling right here beside Dugan and He’s saying with all of you: “If you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me.” What they did to Joey and to Dugan….they’re doing to you and you. All of you! And only you, only you with God’s help have the power to knock them out for good.
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