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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 2,337 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 36 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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Title: The Docks of New York (1928)

The Docks of New York (1928) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ...
...
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

Andy, the Third Engineer: I s'pose you've forgot about gettin' married, too.
Bill Roberts: Chief, last night's over. Today's another day!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Historia del cine: Epoca muda (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another great silent from 1928
11 August 2004 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

One of the fascinating things about the movie to me was that, before he fetishized Dietrich, Sternberg's erotic sensibility seems broader. The opening scene of the men in the boiler room of a ship, wiping oil and coal dust from their gleaming skin, is one of the few times that he dwells on the male body that I can recall. And George Bancroft's swaggering, boisterous Bill is the most virile male I've seen in any of Sternberg's movies -- other than Bancroft as Bull Weed in UNDERWORLD from the year before. Of course, once Betty Compson splashes into the story, the camera loves her world-weary, wry beauty, and Sternberg constantly reminds us that she's naked under her clothing. As in his later, sound films, the settings are also sensual and full of complicated textures, reflections, and depth, with some great dockside shots in a foggy night.

The story itself is a fairly simple, but it has a warmth and genuine (or even sentimental) sympathy for love that is perhaps lost in the power struggles of Sternberg's Dietrich films. All four major characters are strongly drawn, rough-hewn, and well-played. Along with Bancroft and Compson, Olga Baclanova (of FREAKS fame) is also especially good as a sailor's bitter, abandoned wife. The dialogue in the intertitles is full of hard-boiled gems, as when the wedding ceremony is rendered, "If any of you eggs know why these heels shouldn't get hitched, speak now or forever after hold your trap!"

Kevin Brownlow says in THE PARADE'S GONE BY that THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK is Sternberg's finest film, and it may be so. I love the Dietrich films, and the bizarre SHANGHAI GESTURE, but DOCKS stands out for the sweet grittiness.


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