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I Cover the Waterfront (1933)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 May 1933 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 346 users  
Reviews: 18 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)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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

Production Co:

 »
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

Pretty Good Atmospheric Drama
10 July 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Although some aspects of the film don't quite work, "I Cover the Waterfront" is a pretty good atmospheric drama with some good moments. The setting works very well for a story of suspense and crime, and the good story mostly makes up for the less impressive elements of the movie.

Joe Miller (Ben Lyon) is reporter assigned to find interesting stories along the waterfront. His obsession is to prove that ship captain Eli Kirk is involved in a smuggling operation with an occasional murder thrown in. When Miller has a chance meeting with Kirk's charming daughter Julie (Claudette Colbert), he seizes the opportunity to get information about her father. He quickly becomes enamored of Julie, and find himself with conflicting loyalties. Some of the story that follows is predictable, but there are some moments of tension and some good scenes.

The waterfront setting is done nicely, and it makes a good background to the events in the plot. It also includes an exciting and realistic shark-fishing scene. On the other hand, there are some features that are less effective or even a bit dated: for example, the very callous attitudes of all of the characters towards Chinese immigrants, and Miller's irritating sidekick, who is supposed to provide comic relief by his habitual drunkenness, but who is really just an annoyance that contributes nothing whatsoever to the plot.

Overall, this is an interesting film despite a few flaws, and it is worth watching for anyone who likes films of the era.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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