The Docks of New York

The Docks of New York ★★★½

After saving a woman attempting to suicide, our anti-hero Bill falls in love with her and both marry, but our so called hero isn't precisely ready for such a compromise.

Immediately, while watching this romantic silent film, the thing that comes to afloat (no pun intended) is the way how Sternberg and his DP works the camera around the characters. There's a flow that reminded me to what the French people did back on French New Wave era. The camera doesn't work as a "pencil," per se, but it dances around, almost making most of these scenes feel like a sea wave, which seems fitting with the whole setting of the movie.

The story itself is very cute, and has his charm, even with no dialogue Betty Sampson is both gorgeous and her sazzyness is contagious. Bancroft machismo might come a bit outdated, but it was somewhat fun and his story arc is pretty good.

It still suffers from some of the early cinema's limitations and era, but all in all, thanks to a well-written generic romantic script and good performances, this might be a good one to watch on a Sunday afternoon.

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