I Cover the Waterfront (United Artists) (1933)

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I COVER THE WATERFRONT PUBLICITY SECTION Claudette Colbert • Ben Lxjon and Ernest Torrence in T Cover the Waterfront " 2— Two Col. Scene ( Mat .10; Cut .40) JOSEPH M. SCHENCK presents “I Cover the Waterfront” with Claudette Colbert and Ben Lyon Directed by JAMES CRUZE Produced by EDWARD SMALL A UNITED ARTISTS PICTURE Bated on the book by MAX MILLER Screen Play by WELLS ROOT Additional Dialogue by JACK JEVNE JULIE . Claudette Colbert JOSEPH MILLER.Ben Lyon ELI KIRK. Ernest Torrence McCOY .Hobart Cavanaugh ORTEGUS . Maurice Black OLD CHRIS .Harry Beresford JOHN PHELPS Purnell Pratt SILVA .George Humbert MRS. SILVA . Rosita Marstini MOTHER MORGAN .Claudia Coleman RANDALL .:. Wilfred Lucas Assistant Director. Vernon Keays Art Director. Albert D’Agostino Photography .Ray June Sound Technician .Oscar Lagerstrom Film Editor .Grant Whytock SYNOPSIS Eli Kirk (Ernest Torrence), smuggling a Chinese in his fishing smack, is chased by a Coast Guard cutter and hurls the Chinese overboard, so that there is no evidence when the cutter overhauls him. Aboard the cutter, though, is Joseph Miller (Ben Lyon), a reporter, who promises to "get” Kirk eventually. The next day, making his rounds, Miller encounters a girl bathing au naturel, and learns that this is Kirk’s daughter, Julie (Claudette Colbert. She berates him for looking at her. When she returns home she finds her father in an ugly mood, and she soothes him, after which he tells her he is thinking of going back to the South Seas and taking her with him. She knows he is in trouble, but he refuses to explain what it is. One day Miller meets Old Chris, a colorful harbor character who ekes out a precarious living by dragging the harbor for salvage. And that day Chris’s line brings up a dead Chinese, around whose body is a chain which is identified as coming from Kirk’s boat. Kirk, on a spree, barges into "Mother Morgan’s Boarding House,” to which Miller and McCoy, a tippling reporter, amble a little later. Julie arrives in search of her father and she and Miller carry him home. The next day Julie and Miller meet on a dock and the beginnings of love come to them. Miller is then assigned by his paper to find where Kirk lands his smuggled Chinese, and when next the Kirk boat pulls in Miller is there with a squad of Government agents. The boat, which is loaded with giant sharks, is searched but no evidence is found. Then Miller grabs a knife and slashes open one of the sharks, revealing a smuggled Chinese. Kirk bursts away, after felling Miller with a terrific blow from his fist. The Chief Government Inspector shoots Kirk and then grapples with him, but the smuggler manages to escape. Julie then learns from her father that Miller had tipped off the Government. Naturally, she then turns against Miller and wonders how she ever thought 6he loved him. The reporter learns that Kirk has been taken to a half-submerged barge, where a Chinese doctor has removed a bullet from his body. He locates Kirk there, and Kirk shoots him. He is just about to finish the reporter off when Julie arrives. Kirk then comprehends that Julie is in love with the reporter and, soften¬ ing, helps her to place him in a motorboat, after which Kirks starts a trip into But he dies at the wheel and Julie has Miller taken to a hospital. Returning to his apartment, the reporter finds it renovated and "prettified,” as he puts it. Julie walks in, explaining that she had something to say to him, and that this was her way of saying it. Miller takes her into his arms. Claudette Packs a Real Wallop; Knocks Out Girl in New Film Chinese Smuggled in Sharks Caught Off Ca I ifornia Coast Modern Jonah Version Adds Dramatic Touch to Filming of “I Cover the vVaterfront” Waterfront Star Scaled Heights in 10 Years Claudette Colbert Won First Role In New York on Chance Remark Less than ten years ago Claudette Colbert was an ambitious young stu¬ dent, with professional acting farth¬ est from her. thoughts. Today the screen star and former stage favorite, who currently appears in Reliance’s romantic thriller for United Artists, “I Cover the Water¬ front,” with Ben Lyon playing oppo¬ site her and Ernest Torrence heading the supporting cast, can look back over a decade that has brought her inter¬ national fame. A True Cosmopolite A true cosmopolite, Miss Colbert was born in Paris, France, and reared and educated abroad and in New York, where her family removed in 1913. After leaving the Washington Irving High School she enrolled in the Art League, and it was while she was a student there that a remark she made in jest led to a brilliant stage career and eventual stardom in mo¬ tion pictures. A guest at a tea in 1924, Claudette was introduced to Ann Morrison, playwright. The art student jokingly asked the author of “Pigs” to put her in a new play, “The Wild Westcotts,” then about to be staged. Miss Morri¬ son took Claudette at her word and arranged for her to play a bit. Miss Colbert “confessed” to James Cruze, director of “I Cover the Wat¬ erfront,” and others on the set during the filming of the picture based on Max Miller’s best-selling book, that she white-lied to get her second role on the stage. Convincing Brock Pem¬ berton that she had several years’ ex¬ perience to her credit, she persuaded him to cast her as the leading woman in his production, “The Marionette Man.” An Instant Hit An instant — and a decided — hit, Miss Colbert thereafter, with the ex¬ ception of the time she appeared in an all-star revival of “Leah Kleshna,” always played the leading roles in stage plays. Among her Broadway successes were “The Cat Came Back,” “We’ve Got to Have Money,” “A Kiss in the Taxi,” “The Ghost Train,” “The Pearl of Great Price,” “The Barker,” which she also played in London; “The Mulberry Bush,” “La Gringo,” “Fast Life,” “Tin Pan Alley,” and the Thea¬ ter Guild’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Dynamo.” Her last stage appearance was in “See Naples and Die.” Miss Colbert’s screen debut was in a silent picture, “Love O’ Mike.” “The Hole in the Wall” was her second picture, and then came “The Lady Lies,” one of the first of the bet¬ ter talking pictures, which spread Miss Colbert’s fame far and wide. Successively she won the feminine honors in productions such as “The Big Pond,” “Young Man of Manhat¬ tan,” "Manslaughter,” “Honor Among Lovers,” “The Smiling Lieutenant,” "Secrets of a Secretary” “His Wom¬ an,” “The Wiser Sex,” “The Mislead¬ ing Lady,” “The Phantom President” and “The Sign of the Cross.” Great Versatility Miss Colbert’s versatility is attested by the ease with which she jumped from her role in Cecil B. DeMille’s Roman-period spectacle to her 1933 characterization in the Edward Small production “I Cover the Waterfront,” with its background of high-powered news gathering, smuggling and mile- a-minute romance. The heroine of the picture adapted from one of the most-talked about books ever written, is a decided brun¬ ette, with large brown eyes, and is five feet, five inches in height and weighs 103 pounds. In private life she is the wife of Norman Foster but, as the world knows, they maintain separate estab¬ lishments, and have ever since their marriage five years ago. Miss Colbert’s hobbies are amateur photography (she develops and prints her own pictures) collecting jade, tell¬ ing and listening to amusing anecdotes, reading the better writers, including poets, and working jig-saw puzzles. You wouldn’t think, to look at Claud¬ ette Colbert, five feet, five inches in height and weighing only 103 pounds, that she has a knock-out punch in her left hand. But she has, decidedly, and Holly¬ wood recently discovered the fact while the star was working in Reli¬ ance’s “I Cover the Waterfront” with Ben Lyon and Ernest Torrence. In one of the scenes of the water¬ front picture, adapted from Max Mil¬ ler’s best-selling book, Claudette, as the fiery daughter of a 1933 swash¬ buckler and smuggler (Torrence), is supposed to storm into a dock speak¬ easy and drag her inebriated father from the clutches of his girl friends. Rehearsing the action in which a Junoesque blonde, Florence Dudley, gets Torrence in a champagne-buying mood and “rolls” him for all his money, only to be confronted by the victim’s daughter and slapped all over the joint, Director James Cruze in¬ structed Miss Colbert to get plenty rough. “It’s okay with me to hit as hard as you can,” interrupted Miss Dudley. “Let’s get the scene right the first time. I’ll take a chance.” “Camera, action,” ordered Cruze. Miss Colbert and the blonde faced each other. Slam ! Bang! Socko ! Claudette had followed the direct¬ or’s instructions. Down went Miss Dudley—and out, colder than a casting director’s heart. Screen actors have found them¬ selves in many strange situations dur¬ ing the filming of pictures in Holly¬ wood’s history, but no assignment' ever was so bizarre as the experience of a group of Chinese atmospheric play¬ ers in “I Cover the Waterfront,” Re¬ liance’s romantic thriller for United Artist's. They were paid to be modern Jonahs only instead of whales, they had to live inside huge sharks. This fantastic situation, which in reality is not as fantastic as it sounds, according to authorities who for years have been combatting the smuggling of Chinese into California, was neces¬ sary to fit the story action in the pic¬ ture based on Max Miller’s best-sell¬ ing book, “I Cover the Waterfront.” Giant Sharks Caught Ben Lyon, playing opposite Claud¬ ette Colbert, has the role of a reporter who aids federal men in running down a gang of pseudo-fishermen, headed by Ernest Torrence, whose real racket is smuggling Chinese into the United States. After landing hordes of the undesirable aliens under the very noses of the authorities, the mystery finally is solved. The Chinese are in¬ side sharks delivered to a fertilizer factory. In bringing this action to the screen, the film company, under the direction of James Cruze, the man responsible for “The Covered Wagon,” “Old Ironsides” and other epical produc¬ tions, cruised the high seas off the California coast until it encountered a school of huge sharks. After a battle lasting for hours, and while cameras and sound equipment recorded the action, harpooners suc¬ ceeded in landing several of the mon¬ sters, some of them 25 feet long and weighing three tons. These “elephant” sharks are among the largest found any place on the globe, and this par¬ ticular school was the biggest ever known in California. Returning more than 100 miles to the waterfront location at the port of Sat; Pedro, where the United States battle fleet, and the U. S. S. Constitu¬ tion, popularly known as Old Iron¬ sides, added to the “atmosphere,” the sharks were strung up with the aid of steel cranes, and the Chinese placed inside them for some of the climatic scenes in “I Cover the Waterfront.” A Nasty Job Bound hand and foot with chains (the smugglers, in the story, being always ready to throw them over¬ board and destroy the evidence in case of pursuit and capture by U. S. Coast Guard boats), the Chinese extras were enabled to breathe by means of a gas mask contrivance, attached to rubber tubes running to the operted jaws of the dead monsters. Outside of having to burn their clothes and scrub themselves thor¬ oughly after emulating Jonah, the Oriental actors suffered no ill effects as a result of the unique experience. Fortunately, it was not necessary to film re-takes, for the Chinese, through interpreters, insisted: “No want do again.” Forced To Burn Clothes After Film Scene Actor Had Dived Into Boatload of Sun-Baked Fish Hobart Cavanaugh, former Broad¬ way comedian, who gpt his first big screen opportunity in Reliance’s “I Cover the Waterfront,” made such a strong impression on Director James Cruze and other members of the com¬ pany during the filming of one scene in the United Artists’ picture, that he was ordered to burn his clothes after the cameras ceased clicking. The actor was required to fall into a boatload of dead fish while the com¬ pany was on location at San Pedro, California. He did—once, twice, thrice. He made contact with fish of all sizes, from 25 foot sharks to lowly mackerel. Some of them had been exposed to the California sun for several hours. At the conclusion of the action, when Cavanaugh had clambered from the fishing boat up to the dock where Claudette Colbert, Ben Lyon, Ernest Torrence and the director were stand¬ ing, he discovered that everybody sud¬ denly had business elsewhere. His only welcome was from a couple of cats. Claudette Swims in Each Film It Seems Miss Colbert Bathes Au Naturel in "I Cover the Waterfront” It’s a far cry from a luxurious Roman bath in milk to swimming au naturel in the Pacific. Just ask Claudette Colbert, screen star, for she was required to go through both experiences in her two latest pictures. After completing the exotic char¬ acterization of the milk-bathing Ro¬ man beauty, Poppaea, in Cecil B. De¬ Mille’s spectacle, “The Sign of the Cross,” Miss Colbert stepped into the role of the very-modern Julie Kirk, daughter of a Pacific Coast smuggler, in “I Cover the Waterfront," Reli¬ ance’s romantic thriller for United Artists. Ben Lyon plays opposite her, and Ernest Torrence has the role of her father. In the _ Edward Small production based on the best-selling book by Max Miller, Miss Colbert plays a water¬ front girl who dispenses with a bathing suit when she realLy wants to enjoy an ocean dip. When it came time to film the au naturel scenes, the film company went on location at a secluded beach behind a rocky ledge along the southern Cal¬ ifornia coast. Obviously, Director James Cruze and his staff, the camera crew and other members of the company kept a respectful distance as Miss Colbert and her maid retreated behind the rocks to prepare for the scene. Sliding into the chilly waters, she took her unconventional dip as cam- . eras and sound apparatus recorded the action. Miss Colbert declared she enjoyed the experience, but would have liked it better if it had been summer-time. New Screen Find Hollywood is acclaiming a new screen comedy find, Hobart Cavan¬ augh, as a result of his hilarious per¬ formance in “I Cover the Waterfront,” Reliance’s romantic thriller for United Artists, with Claudette Col¬ bert and Ben Lyon in the leading roles, and Ernest Torrence heading the supporting cast. Cavanaugh, for years a Broadway comedian and stage star in the larger cities, plays a reporter pal of Ben Lyon in the picture based on Max Mil¬ ler’s best-selling book and directed by James Cruze. In casting the Edward Small production, Cavanaugh was chosen from among thirty-two Holly¬ wood and New York actors tested for the. role. “Scene was great,” yelled Cruze over his shoulder. “We’re going to the next dock. The wardrobe man will give you a new outfit, but be sure to burn the clothes you’re wearing. You smell terrible.” Claudette Colbert in 1 Cover the Waterfront" 4 —One Col. Player Head (Mat .05; Cut .20)