Thursday, July 01, 2010

Up the River

09.15 Cinema Arlecchino, Bologna, 1 July 2010.
UP THE RIVER [the film was not released in Finland] (Risalendo il fiume, USA/1930) PC: Fox Film Corporation. R.: John Ford. DP: Joseph H. August. With: Spencer Tracy (St. Louis), Humphrey Bogart (Steve), Claire Luce (Judy). D.: 92'
Proiezione in HD - HDCam SR.
E-subtitles in Italian by Sub-Ti.

In the HD presentation mobile phones had to be turned completely off like in an airplane. There seems to be no film viewing print of this important movie, and the best source material is full of scratches and joins with many bits of dialogue missing. The HD definition is bright and sharp with a good black level.

This film is important because in it John Ford cast Spencer Tracy in his first feature-film role, immediately starring and fully in command of himself and the gangster character, but trying too hard.

Ford also selected Humphrey Bogart to his second main role. Bogart has not yet found himself. He is still in the starting block, far from his characteristic tough guy persona with the sensitive side. It is funny to witness Bogart fighting Ward Bond in a John Ford movie.

As Joseph McBride says, this is a lampoon of the prison movie genre. A characteristic John Ford touch (inherited from Griffith) is that the women prisoners are sympathetic and the society women who pay a visit to the prison are hypocrites (qf. Intolerance).

I was able to see 50 minutes of this movie.

No comments: