On The Waterfront
written by Malcolm Johnson & Budd Schulberg
Father Barry arrives on the scene of the death of Kayo Dugan, who was just killed by a crate of whisky that was dropped on his head on the mob’s orders. He stands below deck of the ship to give Kayo his last rites while the mob, and the longshoremen all stand watching. Father Barry was hitherto trying to incite a coup among the longshoremen to stand up to the mob that has a stranglehold on the working conditions and wages.
Father Barry: I came down here to keep a promise. I gave Kayo my word that if he stood up to the mob, I’d stand up with him. All the way. And now Kayo Dugan is dead. He was one of those fellas who had the gift of standin’ up. But this time they fixed him. Although, they fixed him for good this time. Unless it was an accident, like Big Mac says [scoffs] Some people think that crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They’d better wise up. Taking Joey Doyle’s life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion. And dropping the sling on Kayo Dugan because he was ready to spill his guts tomorrow - that’s a crucifixion! And every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man - tries to stop him 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 – he shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of our Lord to see if he lived.
Longshoreman: Go back to your church Father!
Father Barry: Boys! This is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming!
[Tillio throws something at him.]
Tillio: Get off the deck Father!
Father Barry: 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, worried about getting the rent, and getting food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you selling your souls to the mob for a day’s pay!
Now what does Christ think of the easy money boys who do none of the work and take all of the grief? And how does he feel about the fellas 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?
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 fella 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. 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 [pointing], and you, and you. All of you! And only you - only you with God’s help have the power to knock’em out for good. [looking down at Kayo Dugan] OK, Kayo? Amen.
Kudos and many thanks to Davin for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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