Up the River (1930)


“Say, if you don’t do like I tell yuh, it’s gonna be your finale!” – Saint Louis

Number of Times Seen – 1 (16 Jul 2021)

Brief Synopsis – After a rehabilitated former convict is blackmailed by a corrupt businessman, two other criminals decide to help him out

My Take on it – Pretty boring film that despite having an amazing cast, just doesn’t work well enough.

This was a film starring both Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy and it’s quite fun watching the two of them together in the various scenes that they share.

The story itself is all about rehabilitation and the way of life in a prison and they sugar coat things a bit too much here.

The various tricks that the inmates play on the guards and civilian that are around are nice to see even if it all comes across quite unrealistically.

Love the way that they depict prison camp baseball as if it means more to everyone (including the warden) than anything else that happens.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This is the only movie in which Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy co-star. Although Tracy and Bogart were good friends, they never appeared in another movie together, as Bogart was tied to a contract with Warner Bros. for much of his career while Tracy was bound first to Fox, and then (most famously) to MGM. When the freelance era rolled around in the 1950s and both were free of their studio contracts, the two talked about co-starring together in a picture, but according to Tracy’s lover Katharine Hepburn, they could never agree on who would get top billing (although Tracy was the more respected thespian, Bogart was more popular at the box office; however, after playing second-fiddle to Clark Gable for many years at MGM, Tracy wasn’t about to accept second billing at that time in his career). Hepburn recalled they considered a suggested compromise that would have created an “X”-shaped credit in which Humphrey Tracy would have co-starred with Spencer Bogart, when read normally. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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