The Docks of New York
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
The Docks of New York
A brutish ship's stoker on drunken shore-leave, rescues a suicidal waif from doing herself in, rashly decides to marry her, and just as quickly abandons the poor girl -- until his true feelings get the better of him. A tour-de-force of brilliant visuals, thick with murky atmosphere.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sternberg suppresses direct emotional appeal to concentrate on something infinitely fine: a series of minute, discrete moral discoveries and philosophical realignments among his characters."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It's a corking program picture, thanks to George Bancroft, a good story and Julian Johnson's titles."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"... a turn-of-the-century bowery answer to Sunrise, with a romantic idealism fighting its way out of hard-scrabble lives and resigned characters of the waterfront culture."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"In other hands, this could have been a pretty ordinary dimestore romance, but Sternberg gives it depth and, as a result, greatness."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Ravishing mood and atmosphere, sensual photography"
‑ George Wu, culturevulture.net
"In a way lost to contemporary social-work movies, von Sternberg's unsentimental poetic realism ennobles his lower-class protagonists through beauty. Classic."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"The film's romantic fatalism is compelling, and von Sternberg creates some stunning imagery out of his lowlife settings."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"visually evocative and narratively intriguing, such that even its generally terrible ending can't quite undermine the overall sense that you have just seen something profoundly of its time and ahead of it"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"The Docks of New York is really a director's and cinematographer's picture if ever there was one and on that account it's nothing less than masterly."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It fulfills their requirements, somewhat obscure to this reviewer, of rhythm, plasticity and unity. In simpler and more popular terms, it seems to be exceptionally good motion picture entertainment."
‑ Glenn Collins, New York Times
"Josef von Sternberg enjoys a challenge, so he pulls into Borzage's waterfront to suppress and heighten emotionalism with sang-froid deadpans."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Von Sternberg is a director of situations, not of suspense -- it is his mastery of the subtle eye-line interplay of silent cinema, his command of mise-en-scene and mood, that makes the love between these characters credible."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Seedy waterfront silent melodrama that sizzles with a smoky atmosphere."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The Docks of New York on Rotten Tomatoes