The Docks of New York
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The Docks of New York
The smokily erotic ambience of Josef Von Sternberg's silent Docks of New York is best appreciated on a big theatrical screen--but only if the available print is at the very least second-generation. George Bancroft plays a two-fisted ship's stoker on shore leave. He saves Betty Compson from committing suicide; though the girl displays little gratitude, the inebriated Bancroft impulsively marries her. After he sobers up, Bancroft is prepared to set sail and leave his new wife waiting for him...perhaps forever. The story is secondary to the virtuosity of the direction and camerawork (one… More
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
"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
"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
"... 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
"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
"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
More reviews for The Docks of New York on Rotten Tomatoes