7.5/10
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The Docks of New York (1928)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 September 1928 (USA)
A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Writers:

Jules Furthman (story and screenplay), John Monk Saunders (suggested by "The Dock Walloper" by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ... Bill Roberts
Betty Compson ... Mae
Olga Baclanova ... Mrs. Lou Roberts (as Baclanova)
Clyde Cook ... 'Sugar' Steve
Mitchell Lewis ... Andy - the Third Engineer
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Hymn Book Harry
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Storyline

Bill Roberts works as a stoker on a coal-red barge. It's dirty, hard work and the men have to put up with a foreman, Andy, who seems to enjoy making their life miserable. When finally off the ship, Bill sees a young woman struggling in the water - apparently trying to commit suicide. He takes her to the Sandbar saloon, the sailors' hangout. The girl is Mae and Bill takes a shine to her but so does Andy. One thing leads to another and Bill asks her to marry him then and there. They don't have a marriage ;licence however and despite Bill promising to get one first thing the morning he decides to leave her behind. When she gets into trouble however, Bill steps in. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In washed the tide. Picked from the driftwood at the waterside. A woman, sullen, weary, disillusioned. And a ship's stoker, ashore for a rollicking rouser. A Josef von Sternberg masterpiece (Print Ad- The Observer, ((Newberry, SC)) 26 March 1929)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Sugar' Steve tries to light Mae's cigarette from the same match he used to light Bill's and his own cigarettes while she is mending Bill's shirt. Mae blows out the match and says, "What are you trying to do, bring me more bad luck?" He must light a new match for her cigarette. At the time, "three on a match" was considered bad luck. Soldiers during the Crimea War believed that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, one of the three would be killed, or alternately the third soldier to use the match would be shot. The superstition persisted with soldiers through World War II. See more »

Quotes

Intertitle: [Opening lines. Intertitle] The Waterfront of New York - The end of many journeys, the beginning of many adventures.
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Alternate Versions

Video version includes new score by Gaylord Carter. See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

User Reviews

 
Impressive acting
11 December 2009 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

For me, this comes a close second to "Underworld" in Sternberg's films: the twists and turns of the melodramatic plot become ultimately a little too much for me to swallow (a twist too far?), and I found some of the camera devices simply distracting, but even so the film is more or less won by virtue of the impressive acting from all concerned. Betty Compson (who was soon to receive a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her role in the part-talkie "The Barker") stands out as the fragile, cynical girl who has "had too many good times" already but allows herself to believe in the possibility of redemption; Baclanova is memorable as the petty officer's deserted wife, while George Bancroft is a cheerful, callous but not unkindly Colossus of a stoker. The weary, sensitive features of Gustav von Seyffertitz, in a small role as the threadbare Bible-basher who ministers to this godless 'flock', also make a strong impression. The film is almost all atmosphere, but it is atmosphere well-done.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Docks von New-York See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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