HERO’S JOURNEY
Movie: On the Waterfront
Year: 1954
Director: Elia Kazan
Staring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden

otwf

ORDINARY WORLD:
Terry Malloy is a worker on the dock (seen by an establishing shot with the huge ship present). He is uneasy and timid when the boss of a mob gives him a push, like a little boy being bullied. Terry at the beginning of the film is a bum.

*INCITING INCIDENT: Joey is murdered by the mob with the help of Terry and his brother Charlie.

CALL TO ADVENTURE:
The church (represented by Father Barry) asks people to speak out about the death of Joey, and that if anyone knows anything or who is involved they must step up.

REFUSAL:
But Terry says nothing. While at the church, however, there is a riot and Terry saves the girl (Idie – Joey’s sister) by taking her to safety (SAVE THE CAT MOMENT). On their walk she also asks him about Joey’s murder, but to no avail.

MEETING THE MENTOR:
Soon enough someone else dies – the guy who received Joey’s jacket from his father. At this point Father Barry makes a touching speech, which Terry defends. He begins to feel guilty about participating in the first crime and not saying anything.

CROSSING THE THRESHOLD:
Terry Malloy enters Idie’s world. He is in love with her, and is not familiar with this new world. (PLOT POINT 1)

TESTS, ALLIES, & ENEMIES:
He refuses to work for the mob. He gains Idie’s trust. His brother warns him about his refusing to cooperate with the mob.

APPROACH:

ORDEAL:

REWARD:
He wins the girl with a big kiss scene. He also receives the ‘passed down’ jacket that once belonged to Joey.

THE ROAD BACK:
His brother, Charlie is murdered by the mob (PLOT POINT 2). Terry decides to confess in front of a jury, and testify against the mob.

RESURRECTION [CLIMAX]:
Terry approaches the mobster. At this point there is a defining shot that shows Terry’s change of state from boy to man. He is shown higher in the frame than another individual for the first time, in the whole movie. There is a fight scene followed by Terry shown completely defenseless and beaten up. Here Father Barry shows up and encourages him to get up – He resurrects and is considered a Hero.

RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR:
Despite being refused on the ship, Terry joins the men at work. He is a Hero – A Man.

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