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A good-for-nothing sailor walks out on his young family leaving them to fend for themselves in the Liverpool slums. They make a go of their lives and the eldest daughter, now a woman, is none too pleased at her father's attempted return. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
I have to wonder if the other reviewers on IMDb were watching the same film I have just seen. Waterfront must have been the most unrealistic "slice of life in the raw" film even upon its release in 1950. Some 64 years on it is simply laughable. Considering the Liverpool docks setting, and the fact that all the characters are meant to be local, it is incongruous to say the least that Ma is played by the Cockney sparrer herself, Kathleen Harrison, whilst her daughters are Susan Shaw (doing her It Always Rains on Sunday "EastEnders" bad girl accent), Avis Scott (who she?) at least attempting something vaguely Lancastrian
but certainly not Liverpudlian), and the two younger male leads are
both Welsh - Richard Burton and Kenneth Griffith. Robert Newton opts for a mildly northern twang - occasionally. Newton, Harrison and Shaw are top-billed, though the starring role is actually played by Avis Scott, in what appears to have been her first and last lead (presumably Sally Gray was not available). Waterfront can only be viewed as a period piece, but it is not a good one, and is never for one moment believable or engrossing. Perhaps in the attempt for 'realism', none of the cast inject any personality into their characters: this is the only film in which the usually wonderful Kathleen Harrison has actually gotten on my nerves, and Richard Burton shows no sign of being a megastar in embryo.
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