Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kalpoes one way ticket to Palookaville

From the film "On The Waterfront"

While waiting for the morning's work, Terry is approached by representatives from the Waterfront Crime Commission. The commission is getting ready to hold public hearings on waterfront crime and underworld infiltration of longshore unions. When questioned by them about what he knows, being the last one to see Joey alive, Terry pleads ignorance:

I don't know nothin', I ain't seen nothin', I'm not sayin' nothin'

Let me tell you what stooling is. Stooling is when you rat on your friends, the guys you're with. Johnny wants a favor. Don't think about it. Do it.

In the church meeting with only a handful of longshoremen in attendance, Father Barry speaks out against the controlling power of the mob and stands up for moral principles against the corrupt bosses. He preaches about the reality of the situation:

"Isn't it simple as one, two, three? One. The working conditions are bad. Two. They're bad because the mob does the hiring. And three. The only way we can break the mob is to stop letting them get away with murder."

The priest is told by Kayo Dugan that there is a code of silence, called "D 'n D" on the docks: "Deaf and dumb. No matter how much we hate the torpedoes, we don't rat."

Father Barry persuasively argues that they must break the code of silence and
testify, but he feels defeated when the men don't respond to his words:

"There's one thing we've got in this country and that's ways of fightin' back. Gettin' the facts to the public. Testifyin' for what you know is right against what you know is wrong. Now what's ratting to them is telling the truth for you. Now can't you see that? Can't you see that?"

...But Pop, I've seen things that I know are so wrong. Now how can I go back to school and keep my mind on things that are just in books, that aren't people living? I'm gonna stay, Pop. And I'm gonna keep on tryin' to find out who is guilty for Joey.

And what does Christ think of the easy-money boys who do none of the work and take all of the gravy? And how does he feel about the fellows who wear hundred-and-fifty dollar 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?

"You want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's making the love of the lousy buck - the cushy job - more important than the love of man! It's forgettin' that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ!

But remember, Christ is always with you - Christ is in the shape up. He's in the hatch. He's 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!

And what they did to Joey, and what they did to Dugan, they're doing to you. And you. You. ALL OF YOU. And only you, only you with God's help, have the power to knock 'em off for good.

Terry is confident of what would happen to him if he told what he knew about the murder. And he is reluctant to "put the finger" on his own brother and Johnny Friendly, a life-long friend:

Terry: You know, if I spill, my life ain't worth a nickel.

Father Barry: And how much is your soul worth if you don't?...

It's your own conscience that's got to do the asking.

It wasn't him, Charley! It was you. You remember that night in the Garden, you came down to my dressing room and said:

'Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson.' You remember that? 'This ain't your night!' My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors in the ball park - and whadda I get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville.

Terry: You was my brother, Charley. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me - just a little bit - so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money.

Charley: I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.
Terry (yelling, and heartbroken): You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.

Let's face it ...It was you, Charley.