Up the River

Comedy / Crime / Drama

IMDb Rating 6 10 917


Downloaded times
September 11, 2020



Humphrey Bogart as Harry Morgan
Spencer Tracy as Adam Bonner
Ward Bond as Barney Millen
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
777.56 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.41 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by malcolmgsw 6 / 10 / 10

early john ford talkie

The other reviews posted have concentrated on Tracy and Bogart whilst ignoring the fact that this is a very early talkie from John Ford.Many of the traits which we see in his classic films of the 40s and 50s are evident in a rather primitive form here.Warren Hymer plays a role which in the later era would be played by Victor Mclaglen.Many of the antics of his characters can be seen in later films.For example the horsing around between the managers of the baseball team hitting the others players is used again by Ford in a fight scene in Fort Apache.All of the music and comedy is used many times in the future particularly in the Cavalry trilogy.So to see 3 nascent talents in one film makes it fascinating to watch regardless of the scratches and mutilation of the print.

Reviewed by theowinthrop 5 / 10 / 10

Even Screen Titans Have To Start Somewhere

Finally after many years this film has reappeared for evaluation by new audiences. It's about time. It was the only film that John Ford directed Humphrey Bogart in, and the only film that Bogie appeared with one actor he really respected (who respected him): Spencer Tracy. Ford would eventually make THE LAST HURRAH with Tracy, with better equipment and production values, and (to be fair) one of the best political screenplays in movie history. But if THE VAGABOND KING has to be taken as symbolic of the changeover of motion pictures to sound, and how it was not a total success at first, so is UP THE RIVER a similar transition film. Currently it is in a package of twenty movies (surviving films) of Ford made at 20th Century Fox from the 1920s to 1952. In 1930, Ford had at least seven years of heavy movie work behind him, laying the groundwork for his magnificent westerns and regular films like THE GRAPES OF WRATH and HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. But he was just getting used to sound, and while he was more creative than the forgettable director of THE VAGABOND KING, there are moments when you see him struggling to place his performers into position near microphones (the number of scenes of people aimlessly congregating is amazing in this film). Positively it does show a young Tracy and a young Bogart playing off each other. Less positively Bogart is separated from Tracy for much of the film - Bogart is leaving prison on parole, when Tracy is returned, and Bogie heads back to his home in New England. But problems dealing with a blackmailer forcing Bogart to work in a swindle with him leads to Tracy promising Bogart's prison sweetheart (Claire Luce) that he will help Bogart out. So they do reunited for more scenes (including one odd one - they are on a relaxing hay ride with Bogart's friends). Bogart is a good guy who killed a man in a fight and was sent to prison as a result. Tracy is a smart-aleck crook, who is teamed usually with occasionally smart, but frequently stupid Warren Hymer (in the beginning of the film Tracy abandons Hymer rather simply by having him check a back tire on their getaway car - one that is not damaged actually). Still Hymer does occasionally trump an amazed Tracy - at a dinner with a clergyman, Hymer's brief period as a member of the Salvation Army proves to be useful. Despite being a smart-aleck, Tracy is actually a decent type, which is why he helps Bogart with the blackmailer. A number of others are sprinkled in the film. William Collier Sr. is the 40 year life termer at the prison who is now captain of their baseball team. Note the scene where he tries to get Tracy an extra pillow at the expense of either Hymer or Bogart to protect Tracy's arm. Robert Emmett O'Connor, soon to be driven to distraction as the immigration detective chasing the Marx Brothers in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, is the warden here. The prison is a prison to the men, but they are not a bad bunch and do thank the warden for his efforts for them (including putting on a yearly show of their own talents). I suspect that O'Connor's character (although the prison is in the mid-west) is based somewhat on the leading American prison warden penologist of that period: Warden Lewis Lawes of Sing Sing Prison. Lawes did everything he could to try to make Sing Sing a real place for rehabilitation, and was even an early outspoken (and eloquent) critic of the death penalty. Remembered only by criminal historians and penologists today, he was a very famous man in 1930. One problem with the film is that African-Americans will find the use of a minstrel act in the prison show is actually offensive (although Ford shows a tall African-American prisoner enjoying the humor). On the other hand, those African-American prisoners who are in there mix and mingle pretty easily with the white prisoners. Ford was ahead on that point. Another problem is due, possibly, to deteriorating film stock. Sequences in the film jump - dialog is lost. Also a plot point - the associates of the blackmailer warn him not to try to cheat them or else. He is later followed into his office late at night by these suspicious associates. We never (now) see if they carry out their threat. Two other people who appear are Ward Bond as a bullying prisoner, put in his place by Bogart and Tracy (Bogart would re-team with Bond eleven years later in THE MALTESE FALCON, on friendlier terms). The other is Bob Burns, the "Arkansas Traveller" musician and comedian whose career really took off in the later 1930s. Burns is part of the minstrel show, in black-face (unfortunately), but he is playing his famous "bazooka" musical instrument.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 5 / 10 / 10

Fascinating but not especially memorable

This is a film that can best be appreciated by old movie buffs and film historians instead of someone watching it for its aesthetic value. If you had seen this movie at the time it was made, you never would have suspected that this film was the work of one of Hollywood's greatest directors (John Ford) and featured two mega-stars (Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart). That's because all were early in their careers and they were still years from being recognized for their talents. While John Ford had been in Hollywood for some time, he had yet to make his mark. 1930 marked the beginning of Tracy's Hollywood career--having starred in three minor films earlier that year without any particular distinction. And finally, Humphrey Bogart was in his second film--his first where he actually got billing (having appeared many years earlier in a film as an extra). All three were far from their later polished selves, but it sure was fascinating seeing this film because of its historical pedigree. And, because of their future greatness, this film was a training ground--helping to mold them into stars and a top-notch director. Now if you ignore all this, the film is a very routine film and my rating of 5 might just be a tad generous. Bogart talks too fast but is otherwise fine and Tracy just comes off as a jerk. Probably the most interesting acting performance in this little film was Warren Hymer as the dumb but likable comedy relief. As for Ford, it's obvious that this was a quickly made B-film because a few scenes should have been re-shot--actors flubbing their lines and yet it was allowed to remain in the film. The plot, is mildly fun but not especially memorable. There are a few bizarre moments here and there in the film and most of them happen in this rather luxurious and happy prison. First, the warden's young daughter (about 7 or so) hangs out with the prisoners and doesn't seem to be watched by anyone. Fine parenting, huh? Also, men and women are housed in the same prison--with not very much separating them! Finally, the prison seems like a pretty nice place to live--with baseball games, social workers handing out treats and everyone getting along like one big happy family! No wonder Tracy and Hymer didn't mind being sent back to prison!! The plot has been discussed in other reviews, so I'll leave it to them. I do need to point out, though, that there is a serious problem with the quality of the movie. Because it was old and mostly forgotten, the print shown on Turner Classic Movies is still absolutely horrid and probably beyond restoration because repeatedly bits and pieces of the film are simply missing. As a result, scenes are often VERY choppy and you miss a lot of the dialog. It looked as if they'd decided to just randomly chop out about 5 minutes of the film and do it in 10 or 20 second bursts! TCM almost always shows the very best available prints, so I'd assume that the DVD of this film which was just released in the John Ford Mega-set is also choppy and difficult to watch.

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