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I Cover the Waterfront (1933)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 19 May 1933 (USA)
An investigative reporter romances a suspected smuggler's daughter.

Director:

James Cruze

Writers:

Max Miller (book), Wells Root | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ben Lyon ... H. Joseph 'Joe' Miller
Claudette Colbert ... Julie Kirk
Ernest Torrence ... Eli Kirk
Hobart Cavanaugh ... One Punch McCoy
Maurice Black ... Ortegus
Purnell Pratt ... John Phelps
Harry Beresford ... Old Chris
Wilfred Lucas ... Randall
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A la sombra de los muelles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Monday 17 April 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). On the West Coast, television viewers got their first look at it in Los Angeles Sunday 4 June 1950 on KECA (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

The news items about a woman giving birth in a water taxi, and the Empress of Britain docking that Joe reports over the telephone to the reporter at the news desk, had already appeared in print under his byline in the newspaper shown in the preceding sequence. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown as parts of a newspaper. See more »

Connections

Version of Secret of Deep Harbor (1961) 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

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User Reviews

 
Colbert absolutely glows!
15 July 2001 | by mikhail080See all my reviews

The presence of luminous Claudette Colbert lifts this standard and somewhat dreary effort to an entirely different level. Her shocking entrance has her buck-naked after skinny-dipping in the ocean, where Ben Lyon holds her bathing suit hostage as Claudette hides behind a boulder. She demands to know how he found her in this remote beach. He tells her that a neighbor with a telescope objected to her nudity. "It must have been a woman," replies Claudette. "Yes," answers Lyon, "no man would object."

Obviously, Claudette Colbert appears at the pinnacle of her legendary beauty, with her distinctive wide cheekbones complemented by her enormous eyes. Her wardrobe here is cheap yet sexy, often in tight sweaters, and her slim form cuts a glorious figure across the screen. She's cute in the best sense, never self-conscious or cloying, and it's easy to see why she'd take the nation by storm the following year in "It Happened One Night" and "Cleopatra." It's a joy to even watch her make toast in an adorable bit of business when she catchs an errant glob of jelly from dropping onto the table. One of the sweetest ad-libs I've ever noticed, done with humor and style.

The movie itself offers other enjoyments too. Like the gnarled Ernest Torrance as Claudette's sea-salty father, who smuggles illegal Chinese immigrants into port -- sometimes inside the bellies of sharks! Naturalistic undertones abound when the viewer goes aboard this captain's ship, where it's an unfortunate incident when a Chinese man is chained and thrown overboard when the Coast Guard is spotted nearby. "He knew he was takin' a risk," is how the Captain justifies his actions.

All-in-all a worthwhile effort, this movie has much to recommend it, although it is somewhat marred by annoying Ben Lyon as the lead. If another actor had essayed that role, perhaps Clark Gable or Spencer Tracy, the entire movie could have been lifted to greatness.


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