Waterfront


1h 5m 1944

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 15, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Alexander-Stern Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,816ft

Synopsis

As optometrist Dr. Carl Decker leaves his office at the San Francisco docks, a man follows and then robs him. Through the dark mist, two drunks witness the theft and summon the police. By the time the officers arrive, however, the thief has fled and Decker denies that a crime has been committed. Later, at Decker's office, a man enters and asks for a lens replacement. After uttering an odd phrase that identifies him as a German agent, the man, Victor Marlow, hands Decker a message to decipher. When Decker informs Marlow that his book containing the secret codes and the names of all the German agents operating on the West Coast has just been stolen, the two set out to retrieve it. Before beginning their search, Decker directs Marlow to rent a room at Mrs. Emma Hauser's boardinghouse and explains that although Mrs. Hauser is not a member of the spy ring, her daughter Freda works as a secretary for Max Kramer, a covert member of the ring. When Decker points out his assailant, dock worker Adolph Mertz, Marlow follows him, and the next morning, Mertz's body is found floating in the bay. The newspaper account of Mertz's death sends Kramer to the Anchor Café to question Oscar Zimmerman, the man he hired to procure the book. Kramer accuses Zimmerman of murdering Mertz and declares that he must acquire the code book to protect his family in Germany from the Gestapo. To calm Kramer, Zimmerman accuses Decker's operatives of murdering Mertz. After Kramer leaves, Zimmerman, who had obtained the book from Mertz before he was killed, sends Decker a message, offering to sell the book and directing him to a meeting at the café the following night. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hauser's boarders are all sitting down to breakfast when Marlow rings the doorbell and requests a room. When Mrs. Hauser states that she has no vacancies, Marlow threatens her family in Germany unless she accommodates him, after which she agrees to give him her own room. After breakfast, Freda's fiancée Jerry Donovan, a ship chandler, drives her to work, where he seess his old friend, police officer Mike Gorman. Later that day, Decker receives Zimmerman's note and shows it to Marlow, who begins to suspect that Kramer is connected to the theft. The next day, Decker keeps his appointment with Zimmerman, who offers to sell the book for $5,000 and instructs Decker to deliver the cash to the café the following evening. Jerry, meanwhile, visits Kramer at his office to ask for a loan so that he can close a contract with a shipping company. Agreeing to lend Jerry the money, Kramer tells him to return the following day. That night, Marlow barges into Zimmerman's office and demands the book's return. After Zimmerman extracts it from his safe and hands it to Marlow, Marlow pulls out a pistol and forces Zimmerman to admit that Kramer hired Mertz to steal the book. Marlow then shoots Zimmerman and takes the book to Decker, who denounces his homicidal behavior. Upon reading the report of Zimmerman's murder in the paper, Kramer, conscience-stricken and fearing for his life, pens a confession naming Decker as a spy. He then phones Freda at home and after explaining that he is planning a trip, instructs her to remove two envelopes from his bank vault and deposit them at the office. Overhearing the conversation, Marlow realizes that Kramer is planning to betray him and decides to take action. At Kramer's office later that evening, Marlow shoots him just as Jerry arrives to remind him of the loan. The police are summoned, and upon finding Jerry in the building, arrest him for murder. Mike is assigned to the case, but is perplexed when he learns that both Kramer and Zimmerman were killed by the same German revolver. Mike's only other clue is a sketch found on Kramer's desk, but when he shows it to Freda, she is unable to identify the artist. The next day, Marlow reads a newspaper story detailing Decker's escape from the police and the exposure and arrest of nineteen other German agents. After receiving a message directing him to the pier, Marlow goes there and finds Decker hiding in a fisherman's shack. When Decker begs for Marlow's help, Marlow coldly pulls out his revolver, shoots him and then returns to the Hauser house. After he arrives, Freda notices a sketch drawn by Marlow and realizes that he is the murderer. When Marlow takes Freda and her mother hostage and locks them in their room, the other boarders notify the police. Soon after, Mike and several officers arrive to apprehend Marlow. With the real murderer under arrest, Jerry is exonerated and is happily reunited with Freda.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 15, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Alexander-Stern Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,816ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart places Tony Carson in the cast, his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Elmer Clifton stepped in to direct when Steve Sekely fell ill with the flu.