WATERFRONT was Dennis Morgan’s first film with Warner Brothers. They were making a big push on his career and for fourteen years he starred in all sorts of films, including musicals because of his fine baritone voice. His co-star, Gloria Dickson(Amm Stacey) was another they were pushing, It didn’t work as well with her. She lasted only a few years, appearing in a succession of films with rising male stars(twice more with Morgan) before she began freelancing, She died in the mid-forties of a fire in her home. The clip below is from another of their films, a musical.
Morgan plays Jim Dolen, president of the Waterfront Club, a longshoremen’s union. His father had been president at one time. Dolen just been elected to a third term, beating out a rival, Mart Hendler(Ward Bond). Both are tough men with violent tempers. In one fight, Dolen accidentally injures a friend trying to break up the fight and gets arrested.
Ann Stacey loves him, but not the temper. She resolves to leave him if he can’t get that temper under control. She enlists Father Dunn(Aldrich Bowker) to aid her and it seems to be working. Jim resigns from the union and they intend to head north to become ranchers. At a dance/party to appoint Jim’s successor, who recommends Hendler to replace. Hendler is drunk and attacks Dolen with a liquor bottle. Dolen’s kid brother, Dan(Arthur Gardner) steps in and takes the blow to the head, dying instantly. In the confusion, the girl friend and friends of Hendler get him out of there.
After the funeral, Dolen promises the police that if they don’t find Hendler first, he’ll take care of the problem.
I recognized other faces in the movie. Frank Faylon, better known as Dobie Gillis’s father, is the boy friend of Ann’s roommate. John Hamilton is the police chief. He was Perry White in the George reeves Superman show.