Keep Your Eyes on the Glove

The fumbled glove was an unscripted accident: Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint improvised their reactions (though Brando garnered most of the accolades, note Ms. Saint’s poignant gesture at simultaneously retrieving the glove while reaching out toward its unlikely wearer). But to the Jesuit priest whose waterfront apostolate inspired the film, this was no accident but a moment of grace; the moment—as Pete Corridan, S.J. confided to a confrere shortly before his death in 1984–he “felt a spirit come over the film.”

The tough stuff I wrote of earlier today: so long as we make experience vulnerable to the pursuit of meaning, then we have a chance to achieve narrative integrity and perhaps even find some peace. The glove may have slipped by accident, but the unforgettable poetry is Budd Schulberg’s. Our model of narrative integrity starts here:

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