Oh, how I wish I were Edie's Glove!
If you are a true romantic (which I expect you are, since you've managed to find your way here!) and haven’t seen On the Waterfront, I implore you to run out right now and rent it. A phrase that is tired but true: It is one of the best movies of all time! Combine the talents of Marlon Brando—newly famous then for his Method acting, Elia Kazan, the equally-lauded director of A Street Car Named Desire, and the exceptional music of Leonard Bernstein, the original composer of West Side Story, and you have one timeless classic to enjoy.
Enough namedropping, I’ve come here to reveal one of my favorite scenes throughout the whole movie: The glove scene.
Terry Malloy is a washed-up boxer who trades his sport for a job with the corrupt mob that controls the longshoremen’s trade and shipping docks in Hoboken, NJ. In the course of his work, Terry witnesses the murder of Joey Doyle, the brother of lovely Edie. For obvious reasons, he's afraid to tell what he knows to the police. When these long-time friends from the neighborhood reunite, the attraction is palpable. Here comes the moment:
Edie drops her small, white glove. Our “contender” lifts it off the ground and starts to play with it, the delicacy of his movements a stark contrast to his rugged hands. For that moment, you forget the gritty details of Malloy’s dark past, and you see him just as a man who wants to impress a girl. I love this scene, because it reveals the vulnerability of both characters.
Edie has been removed from her pristine, white-gloved world of academia, and dropped into a chaos of crime, murder, and violence. Here, the glove represents her innocence being tampered with, her beginning to shed a naïve schoolgirl’s viewpoint as she comes to understand the world as it truly is.
Terry, on the other hand, starts to peel away his tough outer shell, so he can show Edie there's more to him. What is it about these moments that make us come to a complete stop? There’s something about a hunky, testosterone-driven man showing signs of compassion with something as insignificant as a lone glove—not even a pair—that makes our hearts beat faster! The climax of this scene is when Terry attempts to fit his large hands into this tiny white glove—Edie’s glove. His action is playful, but sexual. Edie's physically uncomfortable, because she's starting to recognize her reactions to our wayward boxer.
This is an incredibly romantic scene that sticks in my memory. Oh, and I promise all of this sexual tension is completely worth it. This scene will lead one of the most overlooked and passionate kisses on-screen with doors breaking, Edie in her paper-thin white gown, and two bodies just melting down to the floor. Oh yes, ladies, this is what fantasies are made of.
Stephanie Treanor lives in New York, absolutely hates egg salad sandwiches, and has reconnected with her former love of all things Romance thanks to her job here at heroesandheartbreakers.com.