Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Riff-Raff begins riff-raffing when boastful fisherman Dutch (Spencer Tracy) marries down-to-earth cannery worker Hattie (Jean Harlow). Their happiness is marred by Dutch's egomania, which results in the loss of his job and the alienation of his friends. Eventually he deserts Hattie, but she remains in love with him, even going to jail on a theft charge after trying to supply him with money. Reels and reels later, Dutch makes up for his past misdeeds by foiling a plot to sabotage a huge fishing vessel. Unfortunately, his reunion with Hattie is delayed when she tries to break out of prison, earning her an extended sentence, but he magnanimously promises to wait for her. Hard to believe that so sensible a heroine would put up with so much from a guy who's frankly not worth the trouble, but the chemistry between Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow compensates for the film's Grand Canyon-sized logic holes.
childbirth, factory, fishing, love, prison, relationship, romance, sabotage, striker, tragic-love, waterfront, working-class