I Cover the Waterfront


Crime / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 552

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 10, 2021 at 11:26 PM



Claudette Colbert as Julie Kirk
665.93 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 12 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 6 / 10

Good but the ending deadens the impact a bit...

Joe (Ben Lyon) is a reporter whose beat is the waterfront. His big crusade is to stop a local fisherman (Eli--played by Ernest Torrence) who is smuggling in Chinese illegal aliens. However, when the harbor patrol searches his boat, they never find anything. In fact, one of these scenes is pretty horrifying as Eli has his mates truss up one of the illegals and toss him overboard when the patrol approaches! Joe is determined to prove Eli's evil deeds and he plays up to Eli's daughter (Claudette Colbert) to get inside information. And, using some of this information, he's able to learn about Eli's plans. But, by now Joe is in love with the daughter--and if he springs his trap he'll most likely lose her. What's he to do?!

The film is pretty tough--featuring not only the murder of the 'Chink' (as the film refers to Chinese folks) but an impossible scene where a basking shark tears the leg off a man (though they are plankton feeders--not man eaters). And, because it's so tough it really kept my interest--even though it was a low-budget affair. However, at the end, the movie has a sappy ending that unfortunately detracts from all the rest of the film--with a redemption that seemed far-fetched to say the least. Still, it's worth seeing--particularly since it's free and you can downloaded from IMDb.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

Lost his moral compass

I Cover The Waterfront stars Ben Lyons and Claudette Colbert and it concerns reporter Lyons trying to uncover a smuggling racket by Colbert's father Ernest Torrance. When all else fails, Lyons goes on a romantic campaign to win Colbert and maybe get a line on what her father is doing. If it was liquor and this film was made at the tail end of Prohibition that might be one thing. But he's smuggling illegal Chinese immigrants and has no compunctions about throwing them overboard should the Coast Guard get too close.

Torrance who is best known for playing Saint Peter in Cecil B. DeMille's King Of Kings makes his farewell performance in this in a role 180 degrees polar opposite of Peter. He's a man who's totally lost his moral compass and regards the Chinese as cargo to be jettisoned. His attitude is quite typical of the West Coast which was flooded with Chinese and Japanese immigrants starting with the California Gold Rush and the opening of Japan. The Oriental was regarded as cheap labor and nothing more. So Torrance takes his money and jettisons his human cargo when the heat is on. As it is he's got quite the gimmick for concealing the cargo you have to see the film for.

Of course Claudette just thinks Torrance making a good living as a fisherman. And Lyons while putting on the moves to get information falls in love with her. The inevitable consequences follow.

Hobart Cavanaugh plays one his best drunks, a milquetoast when sober and a guy who gets real aggressive as long as Lyons is around to fight his battles. Given the ever raging battle over illegal immigration, I Cover The Waterfront has a relevancy for today as well.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"I don't like the price of fish around here".

Wow, where to start? Here's a real gem from the pre-Code days that touches on just about every controversial subject that the Hayes Commission took to task in print and film. It starts out with reporter Joe Miller (Ben Lyon) investigating a nude moonlight swim, leading to a highly risqué exchange between himself and Julie Kirk (Claudette Colbert), discreetly positioned behind a large boulder. From there, the story moves to Miller's work on a Chinese smuggling operation, using his connection to Miss Kirk to try and get the goods on her father, a crusty seaman who plies the ocean for all sorts of contraband.

I have to say, I wasn't quite prepared for some of the scenes depicted in the story. When the Coast Guard moves in to get a closer look at Captain Eli's (Ernest Torrence) fishing boat, the Captain has his crew drop a shackled Chinese immigrant overboard! All part of the risk involved as Eli would explain. "The poor Chink tried pretty hard to get into the United States" is Miller's reaction, and to make his point, brings the body back to the City Editor's desk! What!!??

There's also the scene aboard the Santa Madre prison ship, where Miller playfully traps Julie in manacles and a neck restraint in a classic bondage scene. The only thing missing was a tattered leopard print dress for Colbert, which might have crossed someone's mind if it wasn't such a completely different genre.

The scene that really had me jumping out of my seat though was the shark chase by Eli and Ortegus (Maurice Black) in the small fishing boat. That was just outrageous, especially when they harpooned the fish and it ran away with the boat! That segment for me was just about as frightening as the opening scene of "Jaws"; I mean, who would ever even think of making a living in an occupation with that kind of hazard? Then think about this for a minute - how do you convince a Chinese immigrant that he's got to crawl inside a shark to make it to shore? Did stuff like this really happen?

Well if nothing else, this is a unique film, with all the noirish atmosphere you could ask for in a flick from the Thirties. Perhaps a bit too dark in spots, making it hard to follow the action, but when accentuated with that lonesome old foghorn in the distance, you've got just the right touch. Made to order for a dark and rainy night, as Claudette Colbert might suggest, watching from the comfort of a roaring fireplace.

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