Up the River, 1930 - ★★½

This has a big claim to fame— it’s the feature debut for both Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart, and the only film they did together. They’re not top billed, but they serve effectively as co-leads, with Tracy as the comedic lead and young Bogart as the romantic (!) lead. 

The lovely Claire Luce stars as the romantic lead in one of her few film roles (she was more active on the stage). 

And always good to see Ford-favorite Ward Bond in a small role. 

I’ve read that Tracy said this was the film—and specifically, his hanging out with Ford—that turned him into an alcoholic.

So it’s certainly interesting for those reasons, though the film itself is aimless.

The romance between Bogart and Luce should have been the focus, but is weirdly never more than a side plot, despite...

May 25th 2022
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