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Wharf Angel (1934)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 16 March 1934 (USA)
"Mother Bright's" place on the lawless, waterfront district of the 'Barbary Coast' in San Francisco is the toughest of all saloons that can be found, and that is where "Turk", a stoker on a... See full summary »


(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Director: Wesley Ruggles
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Credited cast:
Mother Bright
John Rogers ...
Brooklyn Jack
The Skipper
Donald E. Wilson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saloon Girl


"Mother Bright's" place on the lawless, waterfront district of the 'Barbary Coast' in San Francisco is the toughest of all saloons that can be found, and that is where "Turk", a stoker on a freighter named "The Coyote", and his shipmates can be found when in port. They are there when Como Murphy, fleeing the law for a killing he did not commit, bursts in seeking a hiding place. Mother Bright directs him upstairs to a door that leads to another building, but Murphy opens the wrong door and finds himself in the room of "Toy," one of the many girls employed by Mother Bright in the event any of the sailors desires to purchase anything other than whiskey. "Toy" takes pity on Murphy and hides him when the police knock on her door. She and Murphy then talk the night away and are very much in love when the dawn breaks. "Turk" is also much smitten with "Toy" but the feeling isn't mutual. "Turk" gets Murphy a stoker's position on "The Coyote" and the two soon become close friends, and tell each... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Barbary Coast! Where the tides of human passions roll up strange wrecks of life and love...a haven for crushed derelicts...such as Toy, who knew men but never heard of love!


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

16 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dama do Porto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Down Home
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
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User Reviews

Dorothy Dell in Her Feature Film Debut
13 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

At 65 minutes, this film seems to have the narrative substance of the fog that surrounds the San Francisco waterfront where a prostitute named Toy (Dorothy Dell) meets a man named Como, accused of murder (Preston Foster). It's love at first sight. But he must flee the cops and so ships out to China with thuggish Victor McLaglen who has eyes for Toy as well. When they return months later, Toy has gone straight in preparation for Como and is waiting for the freighter. But what to do about McLaglen? Interesting if familiar storyline is sparked by a good performance by McLaglen as Turk, who beneath his rough exterior lurks a rough heart. Foster is excellent as the malcontent who spouts political slogans against the world's injustices. Dell, in her feature debut, is also excellent as the gold-hearted tramp who tries everything in an effort to go straight. The scene where she sings in a saloon while the men throw insults and coins at her is a killer.

The sleazy bar is called "Mother Bright's" and Mother is played by the wondrous Alison Skipworth, a tough customer who's ready to fight for love. Co-stars include Mischa Auer, James Burke, Frank Sheridan, and David Landau as the cop. Among the horde of saloon girls are Alice Lake and Grace Bradley.

This was the first of Dell's three films made in 1934. The others are LITTLE MISS MARKER and SHOOT THE WORKS. She would have been a big star, but was killed in a car crash. She was 19 years old.

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