7.2/10
2,427
36 user 19 critic

Edge of the City (1957)

Approved | | Drama | 4 January 1957 (USA)
Two New York City longshoremen Axel Nordmann, an Army deserter and Tommy Tyler, an easy-going freight car loader whose growing friendship is threatened by Charles Malik, a notably repellent punk.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

Robert Alan Aurthur (story), Robert Alan Aurthur (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Cassavetes ... Axel Nordmann
Sidney Poitier ... Tommy Tyler
Jack Warden ... Charlie Malick
Kathleen Maguire ... Ellen Wilson
Ruby Dee ... Lucy Tyler
Val Avery ... Brother
Robert F. Simon ... George Nordmann (as Robert Simon)
Ruth White ... Katherine Nordmann
William A. Lee William A. Lee ... Davis
John Kellogg ... Detective
David Clarke ... Wallace (as David Clark)
Estelle Hemsley Estelle Hemsley ... Mrs. Price
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life by introducing her to the outside world.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Although Peter and Kimani grew up together, Kimani soon finds that different races are treated differently. After Kimani's father is jailed for following tribal customs, Kimani joins a band... See full summary »

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Rock Hudson, Dana Wynter, Wendy Hiller
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A black prison psychiatrist is assigned the distasteful task of helping a paranoid American Nazi charged with sedition.

Directors: Hubert Cornfield, Stanley Kramer
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Bobby Darin, Peter Falk
No Way Out (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A black doctor is assigned to treat two white racist suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Canada Lee, Sidney Poitier, Charles Carson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
Paris Blues (1961)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1960s, two American expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris meet and fall in love with two American tourist girls.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier
Certificate: GP Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In San Francisco, a high-priced call girl is murdered and the case is assigned to Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Martin Landau, Barbara McNair
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A wagon master and a con-man preacher help freed slaves dogged by cheap-labor agents out West.

Directors: Sidney Poitier, Joseph Sargent
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee
Edit

Storyline

Drifter Axel North has just arrived in New York City, having traveled from city to city throughout the country. Given the name Charlie Malick as a contact by an acquaintance named Ed Faber, Axel is able to get a job working as a stevedore in Charlie's gang on the dockyards. Little did Axel know that Charlie is corrupt, requiring payola for that job, and is a racist. It is solely because of the color of his skin that Charlie hates his fellow gang boss, Tommy Tyler, a black man. It is also because he can see that Axel is a little wet behind the ears that Tommy tries to befriend him to get him out from under Charlie's thumb. Due solely to the reason that he is a drifter, Axel is slow to warm and open up to Tommy, eventually providing some basic information: that he is originally from Gary, Indiana, that his real surname is Nordmann, and that the only person he has ever really loved in his life was his older brother Andy, whose death exacerbated the already strained relationship he has ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tense drama of frightened men!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Written specifically for Sidney Poitier. See more »

Goofs

When Alex is fighting Charlie and they end up on the tracks near the end of the rail car Alex picks up a hunk of pipe that bends while he is swinging it. Charlie then hits him a couple of times in the gut. When Alex falls on the ground, it is obvious he has padding under his jacket to absorb the blows which disappears in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Axel Nordmann: Excuse me, a-are you in charge here?
Night Boss: Yeah.
Axel Nordmann: I-I'm looking for a guy named Charlie Malick.
Night Boss: He ain't here. He works the day shift.
Axel Nordmann: Excuse me.
Night Boss: Yeah.
Axel Nordmann: The thing is-a, I'm looking for work.
Night Boss: Nothin' I can do for ya kid, you'll have to come back in the mornin'.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Afro Promo (1997) See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent film, shades of On the Waterfront
3 August 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

1957's Edge of the City, directed by Martin Ritt, stars John Cassavetes, Sidney Poitier, Jack Warden and Ruby Dee. It's the story of a troubled man, Axel, who has a mysterious past that gradually comes out during the film. He has a connection that gets him a job on a loading dock working for Charlie (Jack Warden), a real meanie who takes kickbacks from his workers and rides them hard. Charlie has an intense dislike for a black man, T.T. (Poitier) who holds the same position. T.T. invites Axel to work on his team; Axel defies Charlie and does so. Axel finds a place to live and socializes with T.T., his his wife (Dee) and their son's white schoolteacher (Kathleen McGuire). When tragedy strikes, none of the men on the loading dock will talk to the police, and Axel has to come to grips with his values, what he stands for, and the meaning of friendship.

This is a really excellent black and white film that curiously isn't really about being black or white! It's really about the limits one puts on oneself and knowing who you are. Charlie is a bigot and hates that a black man has a good position on the dock. T.T. teases Charlie and gives as good as he gets. There's no discussion of T.T. and Axel spending time together or of T.T.'s son having a white teacher with whom the family also socializes. What Axel, a loner, finds difficult is accepting any friendship or confiding in anyone - these things he learns through T.T.

Poitier absolutely shines in "Edge of the City" - he's warm, energetic, loving and smart, a man with a real enthusiasm for life, afraid of nothing. Cassavetes is excellent and plays a character totally opposite - hiding in the shadows, chronically depressed and always nervous.

The film leaves open what happens to Axel. Whatever does, he's a different man now.

Strangely underrated and unknown film, possibly in the shadow of a lot of the angry young men films that came out in that era.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 January 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edge of the City See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed