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The Docks of New York (1928)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  29 September 1928 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,472 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 37 critic

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

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(story), (titles), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mae
...
His Wife - Lou (as Baclanova)
Clyde Cook ...
Mitchell Lewis ...
Andy, the Third Engineer
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
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Storyline

The ship on which Bill Roberts is a stoker has just put into port, giving the crew one night ashore. The ship's bad-tempered third engineer orders the stokers to clean up, while the engineer heads for a dockside bar, where he has a confrontation with the wife he had abandoned. Then, as Bill himself goes ashore, he sees a young woman attempt to drown herself. Bill dives in, saves her, and then, assisted by the engineer's wife, sees that she is cared for. Bill and the rescued woman begin to enjoy one another's company, but they must contend with the malice of the engineer, as well as a number of other complications. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Docks von New-York  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sosin composed his score in 2008 for the Ritorato Festival in Bologna with vocals composed and sung by Joanns Seaton. The 2010 score by Robert Israel includes such vintage songs as "East Side, West Side," "Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage," "Bicycle Built for Two," "Strawberry Blonde, and "After the Ball Is Over". See more »

Quotes

Bill Roberts: [Leering at Mae's figure in her tight-fitting dress] I've sailed the Seven seas, but I've never seen a craft as trim as you!
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful, engaging film
10 June 2002 | by (Los Angeles County, California) – See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Docks of New York." Betty Compson's portrayal of a disillusioned prostitute is riveting and clearly shows why she appeared in as many silent films as she did. She truly was a great silent star. She is good to look at and I found myself very much caring about what happened to her character. It is no wonder her image appeared on so many postcards and photographs from the 1920s. I think she was a bigger star during the silent era than most people today realize.

George Bancroft swaggers convincingly throughout. His is a strong, no-nonsense presence. Clyde Cook, known mostly for his many silent comedy films, is convincing as Bancroft's apprehensive and harried pal. Mitchell Lewis, as the third engineer who desires Compson, is appropriately menacing. Olga Baclanova, as his estranged wife, is also quite good.

The scenes in the boiler room of the ship well evoke the hazards and hardships of what must have been back-breaking labor.

The tavern scenes are raucous and animated and clearly depict the more tawdry aspects of such places. The juxtaposition of this setting, with its boisterous, cynical patrons and the hopeful act of marriage that takes place there, is masterful.

Favorite scene: On the morning after their "marriage" Compson offers to sew Bancroft's torn shirt pocket before he goes off to sea but can't see to thread the needle through her tears. He threads the needle for her; she then kneels between his legs and sews the pocket. The intimacy of this act, and the emotions it generates in both, is far more powerful than what we imagine took place in their bed the night before.

Great stuff!


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