Waterfront (1950 film)

Waterfront is a 1950 British black and white drama film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Robert Newton, Kathleen Harrison and Avis Scott.[1][2] The screenplay concerns a sailor who abandons his family in the Liverpool slums. He returns years later causing family frictions. Adapted from the 1934 novel by Liverpool-born writer John Brophy, it was released in the U.S. as Waterfront Women.[3]

Directed byMichael Anderson
Peter Ustinov
Produced byPaul Soskin
Written byJohn Brophy
Paul Soskin
Based onnovel by John Brophy
StarringRobert Newton
Kathleen Harrison
Susan Shaw
Music byMuir Mathieson
CinematographyHarry Waxman
Edited byMichael C. Chorlton
Paul Soskin Productions (as Conqueror)
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
26 July 1950 (London) (UK)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


When ship’s fireman Peter McCabe walks out on his long-suffering wife he leaves her impoverished, with two young daughters and a son born soon after his departure. Fourteen years later McCabe returns, sacked and humiliated, trailing trouble in his wake. The eldest daughter, now a woman, is none too pleased at her father's reappearance.

Main cast

Critical reception

Writing in the Radio Times, David Parkinson noted a "sobering and little-seen portrait of Liverpool in the Depression...the film is undeniably melodramatic, but it has a surprisingly raw naturalism that suggests the influence of both Italian neorealism and the proud British documentary tradition. As the seaman whose drunken binges mean misery for his family and trouble for his shipmates, Robert Newton reins in his tendency for excess, and he receives solid support from the ever-dependable Kathleen Harrison and a young Richard Burton, in only his third feature."[4]


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