The Docks of New York

Synopsis: Bill Roberts works as a stoker on a coal-red barge. It's dirty, hard work and the men have to put up with a foreman, Andy, who seems to enjoy making their life miserable. When finally off the ship, Bill sees a young woman struggling in the water - apparently trying to commit suicide. He takes her to the Sandbar saloon, the sailors' hangout. The girl is Mae and Bill takes a shine to her but so does Andy. One thing leads to another and Bill asks her to marry him then and there. They don't have a marriage ;licence however and despite Bill promising to get one first thing the morning he decides to leave her behind. When she gets into trouble however, Bill steps in.
Rotten Tomatoes:
76 min


The waterfront of New York

- the end of many journeys,

the beginning of many adventures.

Miles of docks wait day

and night for strange

cargo - and stranger men.

Ships come in from the sea -

tarrying a day or two in the endless

journey from port to port.

These were the days before

oil fuel made stoking a lady's job -

when stokers earned their pay

in sweat and coal-dust.

"Well, Bill! We brought the

ol' barge in right on time!"

"Pick up that waste!

Nobody goes ashore till

this hole is cleaned up!"

"This packet sails

tomorrow morning."

"You've got one night ashore.

If any o' you muckers come

back drunk, you'll do double shift!"

"He's the most even-

tempered guy I ever

knew - always sore!"

"He thinks we're goin'

ashore to play marbles!"

The Sandbar, a cable's length

from the wharf, has vanished now -

wiped out by commerce and reform.

But that night it was

wide awake and roaring.

Save his soul and money

comes to Hymn-Book Harry

"Meet my husband!"

"Well, Andy! I guess you never

expected to run across me here!"

Night and fog met

the stokers coming ashore.

"Hey, Bill! That's no place

to take a lady!"

"Come on, Bill. They'll

take care of her!"

"Okay, Bill! Be a hero an'

leave your pal!"

"But just remember Singapore - -

an' recollect Shanghai!"

"Well, you gave me the air.

It's been three years -

what did you expect me to do?"

"Take that out o' here -

before you draw the police!"

"Get her a hot drink!"

"One hot toddy!"

"You're not goin' in there!

That's the only rag

she had to her back!"

"So you're the guy

that saved my life?"

"You could have saved yourself

the trouble, an' let me die."

"All right! Make believe you

died - make believe you're

startin' all over again!"

"You left all that slush in

the river, Baby. All you

need is a good time!"

"I've had too many good times."

"You ain't never been out

with Bill Roberts."

"Dry up before you catch cold!"

"Would you care?"

"Well, I might..."

"After a month in the stoke-hole,

I got no sympathy for anybody that

wants to quit a swell world like this!"

"Throw yourself into them

new rags an' give me a chance!"

"All right, Bill Roberts,

I'll give you a chance."

"Anyway, I can always

make a hole in the water."

"Are you goin' to let me have

a good time in my own quiet way -

or must I take this place apart?"

"Thought you might want

your tie - Bill."

"Pretty, ain't she?"

"You better take my tip -

an' stay away from that dame!"

"Shove off, my lad! I want

to talk with your lady friend."

"You may be big game

aboard ship, but you're

only an animal-cracker here."

"Gee, but you're strong!"

"I guess you've known

a lot o' girls."

"I ain't braggin'

about my love-affairs."

"I'm not braggin', either."

"Ever been married, Bill?"

"Say, who'd marry a

guy like me?"

"Oh, I don't know.

A lot o' girls might."

"You ever been married, Baby?"

"Say, who'd marry a girl like me?"

"I've sailed the seven seas,

but I never saw a craft

as trim as you."

"I don't think it's fair

of you to kid me."

"Say! What makes you

think I'm kiddin'?"

"What did you ever do that

makes you worse than me?

I'd marry you in a minute!"

"An' come to think of it,

I'll marry you right now!"

"You don't know Bill Roberts!

I'll try anything once!"

"Get me a parson - I'm goin' to

get spliced to my girl friend!"

"Come back here, Bill -

don't make a fool o' yourself!"

"Meet the bride!"

"I better get Hymn-Book Harry -

before he wrecks the place!"

"I'm goin' to do right by our Nell!

I'm goin' to marry her - here an' now!"

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Jules Furthman

Jules Furthman (March 5, 1888 – September 22, 1966) was a magazine and newspaper writer before working as a screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Docks of New York" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <>.

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