(Review originally written at 8 November 2007)

It was great to see the old New York of the '20's in this movie, only though it's just in a couple of establishment-shots. It still looked so much different of course, with a totally different skyline, without as many and such high skyscrapers as there are this present day.

The build-up of the movie and its drama is done very well. It has a sort of dark and depressing, dirty atmosphere, which suits the movie its time period and themes. The story also all enhances this. I really liked the story, also not in the least that it isn't just another standard written love-story. I also liked how tings came together at the end. The movie really reached a right and satisfying conclusion. The movie however as a whole is a bit too short though perhaps to let all of its drama work out as effective as it perhaps could had. Nevertheless the themes in the movies still work out efficient enough and shows that "The Docks of New York" was a quite edgy and unusual movie for its time.

The movie gets mostly carried by its two main leads, played by George Bancroft and Betty Compson. Both are such compelling characters, greatly and charismatically portrayed by the two main actors, each in their own way. But a complaint would be that's hard at times to always care for the characters. Bill Roberts is one tough hard guy that smacks things around and punches people in the face. And Mae also obviously has some issues and a dark past.

The movie was professionally directed and with some excellent camera-work, that also uses some early moving shots. This also really added up to the movie its quality and atmosphere.

A great unique little film from the silent era!


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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