Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Top Billed Actors: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan
IMDb Rating: 7.5
*Exclusive Award Winner*
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Actress - Marie Dressler
Nominated for 0 more
Plot: A cranky old lady tries to keep the girl she raised away from her crazy mother.
It will be interesting to see how Dressler's performance holds up to Norma Shearer's in A Free Soul (1931) or Irene Dunne's in the Best Picture winner, Cimarron (1931). I can see why she was a celebrity during this time as she does command screen presence, even in scenes with Beery. Her firm demeanor and strong charisma leaves no doubt who is in charge at the waterfront hotel. I particularly enjoyed the scene in which she wrestles Beery after discovering he was drinking with Marjorie Rambeau's character. It is very entertaining to see Dressler turn in to the Hulk and smash everything in Beery's room. She even hits him over the head with a chair!
I alluded to it in the previous paragraph, but I do not think Dressler's performance was particularly noteworthy. Her dialogue is strange, the faces she makes throughout the film are odd, and the chemistry between herself and Beery seems forced. This might have been alleviated if the movie allowed for more character development. The 65 minute run time just doesn't permit much of this. It also doesn't permit the story to develop either. I got the idea that Dressler was trying to force Dorothy Jordan's character out of the waterfront area because it is not the place for a lady, but that message could have been expressed in more detail. The story just doesn't seem complete and it comes across as just a platform for Dressler and Beery to do their thing.
Overall, this was an interesting film to see M-G-M's star duo of the early 1930s. But the outdated acting and undeveloped story leaves a lot to be desired.
My Score: 5/10