I Cover The Waterfront

20. I COVER THE WATERFRONT (1933-usa). WITH Claudette Colbert, Ben Lyon, Ernest TORRENCE. Directed by JAMES CRUZE. The haunting title song sets the tone for both mystery and romance in this fast-moving drama of a cynical newspaper reporter (Ben Lyon) whose beat is the Los Angeles waterfront. Weary of his job (“You cover everything from black plague to herring smells and don’t get anywhere”), he thinks his big chance for success is the uncovering of a smuggler’s operation. To get the goods on the smugÂgler, he romances and obtains information from the man’s beautiful daughter (Claudette Colbert)Ña task that is considerably complicated when he actually falls for her. For a studio production, this has a surprisingly authentic waterfront atmosphere, and there are some exciting scenes at sea, including a chase after a shark. But you may be more interested in the film’s attempts to get away with as many risquŽ lines and suggestive situations as it could, in the era just before the Hollywood Production Code began to be strictly enforced. Lyon meets Colbert while she is skinny dipping in the harbor. He leaves, saying, “Well, I’ll be seeing you.” She replies, “You’ve seen too much of me already.” Later, she asks, “Do you like my coat?” He answers, “If I liked it much more, I’d start tearing It.” And don’t miss that strange, kinky love scene in a prison ship’s torture chamber, with Colbert, manacled and tied, asking for more “torture.” 74 minutes. Crime Mystery Suspense