The Priest on the Waterfront

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On, columnist Raymond A. Scroth thanks Cornell author James T. Fisher for bringing Father John M. “Pete” Corridan—the real-life model for Karl Malden’s Fr. Pete Barry in “On the Waterfront”—to life. “He was tall, tough, balding, with a take-charge presence,” Scroth writers, “someone this idealistic 18-year-old Fordham freshman in 1951 might want to identify with.” And he praises Fisher’s book, On the Irish Waterfront, for offering “a critical, though loving, portrait of the New York-New Jersey docks and the pious, though also corrupt Irish Catholics who made their living there; an in-depth account of the making of the movie, its script development, casting, on-site shooting on the Hoboken side of the Hudson; a case-study of one of the church’s and the Jesuits’ better attempts to re-connect with the working class; and finally the story of a very dedicated, yet flawed, priest some would say failed in his mission, but triumphed nevertheless.”

Read the entire column here.

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