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I Cover the Waterfront (1933)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  19 May 1933 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 302 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

An investigative reporter romances a suspected smuggler's daughter.

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(book), , 1 more credit »
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Title: I Cover the Waterfront (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ben Lyon ...
...
Julie Kirk
Ernest Torrence ...
Eli Kirk (Julie's father)
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
One Punch McCoy
Maurice Black ...
Ortegus (Kirk's First Mate)
Purnell Pratt ...
John Phelps ('Standard editor, Miller's boss)
Harry Beresford ...
Old Chris (salvage man)
Wilfred Lucas ...
Randall (Coast Guard officer)
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Storyline

Reporter Joe Miller is sure that fisherman Eli Kirk smuggles illegal Chinese immigrants into the country, but can't obtain enough evidence to satisfy his editor. Chance plays into his hands in the lovely form of Kirk's daughter, Julie, whom he catches swimming in the nude and pumps for information. But she's fiercely loyal to her dad, and may be too attractive for Joe's own good. Racy pre-Code sexual situations. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A la sombra de los muelles  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

The news items about a woman giving birth in a water taxi, and the Empress of Britain docking that Joe reports over the telephone to the reporter at the news desk, had already appeared in print under his byline in the newspaper shown in the preceding sequence. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Miller: [on the phone] Hello, Thelma, this is Miller. No, I don't want the desk. I want to talk to Phelps.
See more »

Connections

Version of Secret of Deep Harbor (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

I COVER THE WATERFRONT
(uncredited)
Music by Johnny Green
Played during main title and quoted in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent Waterfront Romantic Drama
30 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film was excellently directed by James Cruze, best known for 'The Great Gabbo' (1929) with Erich von Stroheim, and the Will Rogers vehicle, 'Mr. Skitch' (1933). Cruze died rather young, and has never been properly appreciated. Here he has made a gritty and realistic drama of the California waterfront with lots of harrowing location footage shot at sea showing the dangers of shark fishing. Apparently, great white sharks were hunted by harpoon from small rowboats, and here we see just how wrong this can go. The story is all about Claudette Colbert, here as radiant as ever she was, despite the fact that all the characters in the film including herself are morally ambivalent at best. Her father is a ruthless people smuggler who does not hesitate to throw a Chinese illegal immigrant overboard to save himself from discovery by the Coast Guard, but despite being this sort of character, he is powerfully played by character actor Ernest Torrence as someone entitled to our sympathy, and Claudette goes on loving him despite his crimes, which surely must have left some touches of mildew on her supposedly stainless character? As for her love interest, the dogged newspaper reporter played by Ben Lyon, who is sick of the waterfront and wants to go back to the sanity of Vermont, his own character flaws are wide enough to drive a rather large fishing boat through. All of these iniquities are glossed over, as we are encouraged to root for the romance of this couple, and we very quickly drown in the deep pools of Claudette's soulful eyes (which, by the way, has anybody ever noticed, are too far apart). This is absolutely not a sugary Hollywood drama. Its moral ambiguity possibly makes it all the more interesting.


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