The Docks of New York

The Docks of New York

Original film poster
Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Written by Jules Furthman
Based on The Dock Walloper
by John Monk Saunders
Starring George Bancroft
Betty Compson
Olga Baclanova
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • September 16, 1928 (1928-09-16)
Running time
76 min
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

The Docks of New York (1928) is a silent drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring George Bancroft, Betty Compson, and Olga Baclanova. The movie was adapted by Jules Furthman from the John Monk Saunders story The Dock Walloper.[1][2]


Lobby card for The Docks of New York

An incredibly strong ship stoker named Bill (George Bancroft) saves a beautiful prostitute named Mae (Betty Compson) from drowning during his one night of shore leave. She was attempting suicide as she had no money, almost no clothes and felt remorse about her life up to then. He steals some clothes for her and invites her out for a "good night". They go to a bustling wharf pub and that evening they spontaneously get married by a minister invited to the pub.

The next morning Bill must go back to sea. Mae is disappointed, but he says he was "just having a good time". He also says he couldn't be serious about staying with her and fulfilling his marriage vows because his job keeps him at sea.

Bill's ship sets out, but before it leaves the city harbor, events help him to decide...he must not leave her. Swimming ashore, he goes to the tavern and asks "Where is my Wife?". One patron directs him to the local Night Court. She had been accused of stealing the clothes that he had actually stolen for her. The judge sentences her to 30 days in jail, then Bill speaks up and says that he had stolen the clothes. The irritated judge gives him 60 days for theft. Bill says he will do the time for her; as he is led away, she pledges to "wait forever" for him.




The New York Times gave The Docks of New York a positive review, however, they noted some minor goofs and a preposterous ending.[3]


In 1999, the film was deemed "culturally historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 3/8/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.