7.2/10
2,442
37 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)
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, who play husband and wife in this film, played husband and wife again in the classic "A Raisin in the Sun" (1961) and "Buck and the Preacher" (1972). 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 »

User Reviews

better review
26 January 2005 | by soundslikeSee all my reviews

In this rarely seen black-and-white film, blacklisted director Martin Ritt (Nuts, Norma Rae) explores the complexities of racial brotherhood and tensions through the characters brilliantly played by Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes. This emotionally charged drama follows the story of Axel (Cassavetes), a drifter newly arrived in New York City, who goes to work in the West Side Terminal as a porter and immediately makes the acquaintance of Tommy (Poitier), an experienced and cordial porter who is as generous with his friends as he is with his customers. Scenes such as the first meeting between Axel and Tommy's family, as well as the confrontations between Axel and his surly boss (Jack Warden), convey the confidence and compassion that steadily grows between the two men. As the two men confront societal prejudices, Axel is forced to examine himself and his community. In a film often compared to On the Waterfront, director Ritt displays an intuitive insight, simultaneously subtle and sharp.


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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
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