One of the last films to be made before the invention of the talkie, The Docks Of New York sees hulking, tattooed ship stoker Bill docking into port one night. He saves the suicidal Nell from drowning, steals her some dry clothes and, almost on a whim, marries her in the bar that night. The morning arrives with a stark clarity, as Bill intends to head back out to sea.
The plot is boring and predictable – there’s even a last ditch attempt to save the girl after she gets in trouble with the authorities over her new duds, but there’re some hilarious – though possibly unintentional – lines of dialogue: “I’ve sailed the seven seas, but I’ve never seen a craft as trim as yours” Bill tells his new bride-to-be.
Choose life 4/10