Alfieri, an Italian-American lawyer in his fifties, enters the stage and sits in his office. Talking from his desk to the audience, he introduces the story of Eddie Carbone. Alfieri compares himself to a lawyer in Caesar's time, powerless to watch as the events of history run their bloody course.As Eddie enters his home two fellow Longshoremen, Mike and Louis, greet him. Eddie's niece, Catherine, reaches out the window and waves to them. Eddie scolds Catherine for flirting with the boys so blatantly. Beatrice (Eddie’s partner) convinces Eddie to let Catherine take a job as a stenographer down by the docks. Eddie informs Beatrice that her cousins, Marco and Rodolpho, will be arriving from Italy that night. Beatrice and Eddie plan to hide Marco and Rodolpho who plan to work in the country illegally to send money home.Marco tells them that he has three children and a wife back home that he will be sending money to. Rodolpho, his young blonde brother, has no family and intends to stay in the country as long as possible. Rodolpho entertains everyone with his version of the jazz tune, "Paper Doll."In the following weeks, Rodolpho and Catherine spend a great deal of time together, which worries Eddie. Eddie thinks that Rodolpho is untrustworthy and becomes jealous of the time that Rodolpho spends with Catherine, telling her that Rodolpho just wants to marry her to in order to get his Green Card and become a legal citizen, but she does not listen. Rodolpho develops a reputation at the docks for being quite a joker, which further embarrasses Eddie. Beatrice becomes more aware than ever of the attention Eddie is giving Catherine and encourages Catherine to get married to Rodolpho if that is what she wants to do. Eddie, still frustrated, visits Alfieri and asks if there is any way he can get rid of Rodolpho by law, but Alfieri assures him there is not. Alfieri tells Eddie that he needs to let Catherine go.Eddie becomes increasingly jealous of Rodolpho and resents the fact that Rodolpho thinks Catherine is looser than Italian girls. He threatens Rodolpho in a pretend boxing match, which is stopped by Catherine and Beatrice.Time passes. Rodolpho and Catherine are left alone in the house and have sex . Eddie comes home drunk and kisses Catherine, then pins Rodolpho to the floor and kisses him as well. He visits Alfieri again, who repeatedly tells him to let Catherine go her own way. Instead, Eddie calls the Immigration Bureau and reports the two men as illegal aliens. Immigration officials arrive and arrest them. As he is being taken away, Marco spits in Eddie's face. Alfieri pays bail for the two men and arranges the marriage between Catherine and Rodolpho. On the day of the wedding, Marco returns to the house for revenge. Eddie lunges into Marco with a knife. Marco turns the knife on Eddie and kills him.
What the critics said: