Director Kazan Elia and writer Shulberg Budd created this work as an apologia for collaborating with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Their actions were evident during the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s. The truth is far more fascinating. In order to lionize themselves, Shulberg and Elia, had to disregard the responsibility of the Left in combating the Mob in the docks in New York. “On the Waterfront” for a scandalous period validate in productivity name. It was all about financial gain and money of a single man. Director Kazan Elia and writer Shulberg Budd had been active witnesses in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). This committee was investigating communist activities in the motion picture industries. This is where he named names. Therefore, the not so devious message in this film was that snitching is fine. However, this did not help that Elia was contented to take insolently on the reading himself.
People have not forgiven Kazan and Shulberg for what they did in the early 1950s. There have been protests since 1999 especially after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to reward Kazan with a Lifetime Achievement Award. People accused them of being a rat in the society. Therefore, the film did not succeed in its aim as an apologia. They tried to erase this notion in the mind of the society in the early fifties when the y published 'On the Waterfront' as an apologia. Even when Malloy Terry sets sight on government witnesses against the bad guys, the stevedores spurns him for being a rat.