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"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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Great, atmospheric images, strong cast, literate dialogue - even if there is too much of it - and we still end up with a dreary movie.
Cameron Menzies was the movies' greatest designer but his attempts to direct all went belly up on him - outside THINGS TO COME, where Kordar had control.
This one looks for a while as if it will be the exception, with it's opening in Alison Skipworth's fog bound Barbary Coast dive, running to out of true walls and a clientèle of floozies and boozy sailors, into which radical on the run Foster bursts, with David Landau's bobbies on his trail.
There's curiosity value in seeing one of the few sympathetic depictions of a communist in a Hollywood movie and watching McLaglan doing a try out for THE INFORMER but the romance and buddy plots are drab and interest only picks up occasionally for atmospheric material like the pier at night or the shovels fight in the stoke hold, where Menzies' hand is evident.
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