The Docks of New York

The Docks of New York ★★★★½

The Docks of New York is a movie which unearths art and beauty with the tiniest of plot and not many characters, relinquishing its space for the development of atmosphere and expression. It's situated among the trashiest and seediest of locations, and director Josef von Sternberg enables dilapidated grimy items to measure out the frame with correspondingly dilapidated characters. It's adapted by Jules Furthman (Shanghai Express) from the John Monk Saunders story The Dock Walloper and stands as evidence that von Sternberg could cultivate an outstanding movie even without Marlene Dietrich.