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Upperworld

3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Warren William. Ginger Rogers. Mary Astor. Sidney Toler. Andy Devine. J. Carroll Naish. John Qualen. No fan of Golden Era films would want to miss this luminous cast, even if all the stars did was sort socks. Instead, they light up a dynamic pre-Code programmer loaded with '30s moxie. Railroad tycoon Alex Stream (William) gets the blues when his society-page wife (Astor) forgets their anniversary. Impulsively, he celebrates instead with vivacious burlesque dancer Lily Linda (Rogers). The two soon establish a sweet, sympathetic relationship. But it turns deadly serious when a would-be blackmailer tries to plug Alex, Lily takes the bullet and Alex finds himself accused of murder! "It is a lively situation in which to embroil a spectator," Andre D. Sennwald wrote in The New York Times, "and the breath comes pleasantly fast while it is being resolved."

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Williams, Ginger Rogers, Mary Astor
  • Directors: Roy Del Ruth
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: April 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P8R9RU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

5 star
67%
4 star
0%
3 star
33%
2 star
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1 star
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2012
Format: DVD
This movie is upper level entertainment from Warner Bros/First National that provides pre-code fun that is somewhat suggestive but not exactly risqué stuff. The main theme is unsympathetic wife Hettie (Mary Astor) becomes too enmeshed with her social activities to pay attention to her railroad tycoon husband Alex (Warren William). Alex, in turn, feels neglected and meets oddly named Lilly Linda (Ginger Rogers) who is a fun gal who offers him companionship and probably more. It's not hard to sympathize with Alex because Hettie is icy cold and Lilly is hot, very hot as well as sweet and attractive in a very real way. All moves on swimmingly until Lilly takes a bullet meant for Alex. After all, in movies someone has to pay for unbridled sin and it is Lilly who must pay the price. In the end there is a resolution to the tacky situation.
While the plot borders on trite, the film is elevated by great performances delivered by its top flight cast. Mary Astor is great at playing cold, steely women which is ironic as around the same time she was embroiled in an affair that would come to light a couple years later with the potential to end her career. Rogers is toned down a little as Lilly Linda who is rough around the edges but has a sweetness that suggests she is far more than just a gold digger. Warren William, despite the suave and debonaire exterior, shows a vulnerability and sadness that is not usually present in his world wise and weary characters.
This is a fun movie that despite its age still holds up and is interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John H. McCarthy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 7, 2013
Format: DVD
1934's UPPERWORLD has finally been released on DVD by Warner Archive. The lead actor, Warren William, has been undergoing a long overdue renaissance, with a great new biography finally available (Warren William: Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood), along with numerous DVD's. Unfortunately the picture quality is lousy, one of the worst I've seen yet, with scratches and speckles galore, which is sadly the case with most Warner Archive Pre-Code releases. There have been great advances in film restoration, many films can now be cleaned chemically or by using ultrasound. Scratches and other imperfections can sometimes be removed through several techniques such as the wet-gate process, in which a damaged film is immersed in fluid before light is passed through it. The fluid helps fill in the gashes, which then do not print through to the copy. These techniques aren't expensive, Warner Archive is just cheap. For all the money they will make off an un-restored film transfer, released on a cheap DVD-R, they should be ashamed. UPPERWORLD does feature a great cast, Mary Astor (THE MALTESE FALCON, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS), Ginger Rogers (STAGE DOOR, KITTY FOYLE), Andy Devine (...Read more ›
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Format: DVD
What seems like another simple little precode is actually asking some complex questions here and I think it deserves to be more fondly remembered.

Alexander Stream (Warren William) is a wealthy railroad tycoon. He's got a wife (Mary Astor) and son that he adores, but his wife is just more interested in being a society matron with all of its trappings than paying Alex needed attention. She apparently just thinks he's on autopilot and will never stray. It's not that she's a cold person, she's just preoccupied.

Alex's life changes one day when, while yachting, he rescues a drowning girl (Ginger Rogers as chorus girl Lilly Linda). He drives her back to her flat, and he follows her inside for what is supposed to be just a minute. That turns into bunches of minutes as they hit it off. Alex's puzzled male secretary and chauffeur go up to see what happened and walk in on an innocent but strange scene. Lilly and Alex are playing piano and singing "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" with Alex dressed up in some strange kind of head gear! Alex should be afraid, but not of the Big Bad Wolf, because in this beautiful young woman he is finding the companionship and fun he would like to have with his wife if only his wife would notice his frantic yoo-hooing! The friendship between Lilly and Alex turns to an affair when Alex's wife first forgets their anniversary and goes to a society event instead, and then goes on a weeks long yacht trip with her society friends while her and Alex's son is off at military school. There are two flies in the ointment. First, in the only real malicious act Alex performs in this entire film, he gets a cop (Sidney Toler as officer Moran) demoted to walking a beat for giving him not only a traffic ticket but some attitude.
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