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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 304 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 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)

I Cover the Waterfront (1933) on IMDb 6.3/10

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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 composition "I Cover the Waterfront" became a popular jazz standard, in both vocal and instrumental versions, and was performed and recorded by many bands and vocalists from the 1930s through the 1990s. Originally, the book the movie was based on inspired the tune; it was not written for the movie. However, the movie was re-scored just before its release to include the tune as an instrumental. Among those who have recorded the tune are Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, when Joe is talking to McCoy, he (Joe) has the third button on his shirt unfastened. He walks out of the shot and continues his conversation. In the next shot, his third button is buttoned, but he then begins to unbutton the shirt as he undresses for bed. 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

Referenced in Miss London Ltd. (1943) 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

 
Lost his moral compass
14 February 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I Cover The Waterfront stars Ben Lyons and Claudette Colbert and it concerns reporter Lyons trying to uncover a smuggling racket by Colbert's father Ernest Torrance. When all else fails, Lyons goes on a romantic campaign to win Colbert and maybe get a line on what her father is doing. If it was liquor and this film was made at the tail end of Prohibition that might be one thing. But he's smuggling illegal Chinese immigrants and has no compunctions about throwing them overboard should the Coast Guard get too close.

Torrance who is best known for playing Saint Peter in Cecil B. DeMille's King Of Kings makes his farewell performance in this in a role 180 degrees polar opposite of Peter. He's a man who's totally lost his moral compass and regards the Chinese as cargo to be jettisoned. His attitude is quite typical of the West Coast which was flooded with Chinese and Japanese immigrants starting with the California Gold Rush and the opening of Japan. The Oriental was regarded as cheap labor and nothing more. So Torrance takes his money and jettisons his human cargo when the heat is on. As it is he's got quite the gimmick for concealing the cargo you have to see the film for.

Of course Claudette just thinks Torrance making a good living as a fisherman. And Lyons while putting on the moves to get information falls in love with her. The inevitable consequences follow.

Hobart Cavanaugh plays one his best drunks, a milquetoast when sober and a guy who gets real aggressive as long as Lyons is around to fight his battles. Given the ever raging battle over illegal immigration, I Cover The Waterfront has a relevancy for today as well.


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