About the cat held by Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront

For the umpteenth time I have just watched that superb film On the Waterfront (1954) – 8 Academy Awards – 1955. I am always totally gobsmacked by its quality. And I love black and white. Marlon Brando is fabulous and Eva Marie Saint got an Oscar for her role. The casting is immaculate. There was real chemistry between Saint and Brando or it was great acting. Lee J Cobb was awesome. Karl Malden was equally awesome. I could go on.

Eva Marie Saint and cat
Eva Marie Saint and cat in On the Waterfront. She holds the cat when in her apartment where she lives with her father
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Okay enough, what about that cat! There is a cat in the film. A moggie. The cat is a piebald because we can see white and coloured areas in the coat. In fact he/she is a tabby-and-white. Could be a ginger tabby-and-white. Although the internet does not shed any light on the cat in terms of who owned him or her and how she was selected for the role.

We do know by the way that Brando loved cats! And he was very good with cats. He was so good that in the film The Godfather they had to dub his voice after the take when a cat was on his lap as the cat’s purring masked his words!

Anyway, back to On the Waterfront; that masterpiece. All we know about the cat comes from the film itself. Eva Marie Saint playing Edie is an animal lover and her father complained that she rescued some kittens. One was allowed to remain in the apartment. We don’t know the cat’s gender but we do know that he/she was polydactyl because Edie’s father says that he has 6 toes on the forepaws. That’s polydactylism.

Of course, it might not be true that the cat actually was polydactyl as it was part of the script but it might have been a fact.

She holds the cat gently indicating to me that she was an animal lover in the ‘real world’. I know nothing more about this cat. But here is some more about Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando in relation to cats.

Google Gemini got it wrong 😉. I asked the following question: Tell me about the cat held by Eva Marie Saint in her apartment in the film On the Waterfront.

Gemini responded:

There isn’t actually a scene in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront” where Eva Marie Saint (who plays Edie Doyle) holds a cat in her apartment.

The movie does have a couple of fleeting appearances by felines, but neither directly involve Edie. Here’s what the film offers in terms of cats:

  • Edie mentions a cat to her father. When discussing her decision to stay and investigate her brother’s death, she tells him about taking in a stray litter and keeping a particular kitten with six toes and crossed eyes [source: Cinema Cats website].
  • In a separate scene, a shadowy cat can be briefly glimpsed walking out of a booth in the backroom of a bar frequented by mobsters [source: Cinema Cats website].

So, while the film acknowledges the presence of cats, there’s no moment where Edie holds one in her apartment.

My response:

This is incorrect as I have just seen the film!

Gemini’s further response:

I apologize for the mistake! You’re absolutely right, it seems my information about “On the Waterfront” was incomplete. It’s possible there may be a lesser-known scene involving Edie and a cat, or perhaps the version you saw included an extra scene not present in all cuts of the film.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about the film or the scene with the cat? I’d be happy to try and find more information for you.

Did Eva Marie Saint like animals? The internet can’t help me on that.

Did Marlon Brando like cats?

This answer comes from Google Gemini: While there’s no documented evidence of Marlon Brando owning cats personally, there are two strong indications he had an affinity for them:

  1. The Godfather Scene: The iconic scene in “The Godfather” (1972) where Vito Corleone (played by Brando) sits with a cat on his lap was entirely unscripted. A stray cat wandered onto the set, and director Francis Ford Coppola impulsively placed it in Brando’s lap. Brando reportedly had no problems with the unexpected feline co-star and even seemed to enjoy interacting with it while delivering his lines (various sources).
  2. Reports of his fondness for animals: Some sources mention Brando’s general love for animals, including cats (various sources).

So, even though we can’t say for sure if he had pet cats, the evidence suggests he was at least comfortable and perhaps even fond of them.

This answer comes from Bing’s Copilot: Marlon Brando, the iconic actor known for his roles in films like “The Godfather” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” was indeed a cat lover. He had a soft spot for feline companions and often expressed his affection for them. 🐱❤️

Bing is correct! In my opinion.

On the Waterfront synopsis

On the Waterfront poster
On the Waterfront poster

“On the Waterfront” is a gripping drama set in the New York waterfront district during the mid-20th century. The story revolves around Terry Malloy, a dockworker and former boxer, portrayed brilliantly by Marlon Brando. Terry’s older brother, Charlie, works for the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly. As Terry starts to connect with Edie Doyle, the grieving sister of one of the syndicate’s victims, he struggles to stand up against the corrupt union bosses, including his own brother. The film sheds light on union violence, corruption, and racketeering in this gritty and powerful narrative.

RELATED: Marlon Brando and Cat

2 thoughts on “About the cat held by Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront”

  1. Talking about movie cats have you seen the pictures of Frodo the cat with Lupita Nyong’o in the new “A Quiet Place, Day One?” Go check out the Forbes article posted June 28th.


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