The location-filmed Port of New York might have been forgotten had it not been for one of its leading players. In his first film role, Yul Brynner plays an erudite narcotics smuggler named Paul Vicola. Using a phony yacht club as a front, Vicola conducts a brisk drug trade, making certain that no one will blow the whistle on his operation by casually murdering his couriers. Detectives Walters (Scott Brady) and Flannery (Richard Rober) infiltrate Vicola's gang; one of the cops is killed, but the other manages to see that justice is done. Yul Brynner was so obscure at the time of Port of New York (his only significant credit was Broadway's Lute Song) that one reviewer referred to him as "Yul Brunner."