Waterfront (1939)

59-60 mins | Drama | 15 July 1939

Director:

Terry Morse

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

James Van Trees

Editor:

Louis Hesse

Production Designer:

Charles Novi

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , this picture was filmed on location in San Pedro, CA. This was the first time that the actor previously known as Stanley Morner and Richard Stanley used the name Dennis ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , this picture was filmed on location in San Pedro, CA. This was the first time that the actor previously known as Stanley Morner and Richard Stanley used the name Dennis Morgan. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Jul 39
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 39
p. 12.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jul 39
p. 50, 52
New York Times
17 Jul 39
p. 10.
Variety
19 Jul 39
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
Contr to trmt
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Blindspot by Kenyon Nicholson (production undertermined).
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 July 1939
Production Date:
11 February--mid March 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1939
Copyright Number:
LP8976
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59-60
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5226
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Longshoreman Jim Dolen, the hot-tempered president of the Waterfront Club in New York City, an association of dockworkers, gets into a fight with Mart Hendler, his opponent in the election for president, when Hendler refuses to comply with an order. When Jim's friend, Frankie Donahue, tries to stop the fight, Jim slugs him, and Frankie's head hits an anchor as he falls. Jim is jailed for assault and is relieved to learn while in jail that Frankie has revived and soon will be sent home. Jim's fiancée, Ann Stacey, who is deeply worried about his propensity for fighting, speaks with the new parish priest, Father Dunn, who then visits Jim in jail. When Jim explains that his father taught him never to let others make a "sap" of him, Father Dunn calls him a coward and says that he is afraid that if he does not take advantage of others, they will take advantage of him. Father Dunn's rebukes have an effect on Jim, and when he gets out of jail, he promises Ann to try to understand what Father Dunn told him. Jim and Ann get married and plan to move to a ranch. At the Annual Longshoremen and Stevedore's Ball, Jim graciously suggests that Hendler be made the new president. After a very drunk Hendler insults Jim during his acceptance speech, Jim tells the gathering that Hendler will make a good president even though he is drunk. At the laughter this remark provokes, Hendler throws a bottle at Jim, and Jim's brother Dan pushes him out of the way. Dan is killed by the bottle, and Hendler's girl friend, ... +


Longshoreman Jim Dolen, the hot-tempered president of the Waterfront Club in New York City, an association of dockworkers, gets into a fight with Mart Hendler, his opponent in the election for president, when Hendler refuses to comply with an order. When Jim's friend, Frankie Donahue, tries to stop the fight, Jim slugs him, and Frankie's head hits an anchor as he falls. Jim is jailed for assault and is relieved to learn while in jail that Frankie has revived and soon will be sent home. Jim's fiancée, Ann Stacey, who is deeply worried about his propensity for fighting, speaks with the new parish priest, Father Dunn, who then visits Jim in jail. When Jim explains that his father taught him never to let others make a "sap" of him, Father Dunn calls him a coward and says that he is afraid that if he does not take advantage of others, they will take advantage of him. Father Dunn's rebukes have an effect on Jim, and when he gets out of jail, he promises Ann to try to understand what Father Dunn told him. Jim and Ann get married and plan to move to a ranch. At the Annual Longshoremen and Stevedore's Ball, Jim graciously suggests that Hendler be made the new president. After a very drunk Hendler insults Jim during his acceptance speech, Jim tells the gathering that Hendler will make a good president even though he is drunk. At the laughter this remark provokes, Hendler throws a bottle at Jim, and Jim's brother Dan pushes him out of the way. Dan is killed by the bottle, and Hendler's girl friend, Marie Cordell, gets him away before the police arrive. Jim threatens to kill Hendler if the police fail to arrest him in twenty-four hours. After Dan's funeral, Father Dunn learns that Jim has gone after Hendler with a gun and tells the police, and an all-cars bulletin is put out for Jim. When he sees a police car, Jim surreptitiously gives his gun to Frankie, who has forgiven him for the earlier incident. Jim is picked up, but the captain of detectives cannot hold him because he has broken no law. Meanwhile, Hendler, terrified to give himself up and face the punishment of death for something he didn't mean to do, implores Marie to get enough money for them to leave the country. When the police break into Marie's apartment, Hendler escapes through a window. Because none of Hendler's "friends" will give Marie money to pay the skipper of a boat on which they plan to escape the country that night, Marie gets Ann to give her the money by convincing her that Hendler is no more a killer than Jim would have been if Frankie had died, and that if Hendler does not escape, Jim will either kill him outright or in a courtroom. Jim's friend, Skids Riley, overhears their conversation and tells Jim, who angrily confronts Ann. Just then, Frankie tells Jim that he has learned that Hendler is hiding above the Mariner's Restaurant. To stop Jim, Ann pulls a gun on him, but he slugs her and takes it away. Ann gets the police, who then arrest Jim for carrying a concealed weapon. However, with Frankie's help, Jim escapes from his cell. When Ann hears about the escape on the radio, she goes to the Mariner's Restaurant. Thinking that she is double-crossing him, Hendler slugs Ann and puts her in a closet. When Jim arrives, Hendler hides outside the window. Marie tells Jim that Hendler has left, but when Jim hears Ann fall over in the closet, he thinks it must be Hendler and raises his gun to shoot. Marie stops him, and Jim and Ann embrace, while the wire supporting Hendler on the ledge gives way, and he falls to his death. Marie cries over his body. Father Dunn convinces the judge to commute Jim's sentence to probation and then blesses him and Ann as they leave for their ranch. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.