Fun Size Review: Upstream (1927)

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Love, jealousy and humor blend in this forgotten film set in a boarding house that caters to actors– a rather threadbare collection at that. This makeshift family of hoofers, chanteuses, aging hams and knife-throwers is put in disarray when one if their own hits the big time. It’s a trifle but a very pleasant one. This ensemble film was directed by some guy named John Ford.

(You can read my full-length review here.)

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[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Success goes to our boy’s head but the boarding house crew has the last laugh. When he comes to show off, they toss him out on his ear.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

Peanut Candy Popcorn Balls. Not a cohesive whole but a mixture of multiple elements. Still quite tasty.

Availability: Thought lost for years, Upstream was discovered in New Zealand and released on DVD as part of the Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive set. The whole disc is crammed with rare goodies and is highly recommended. (The disc was released by the National Film preservation Foundation, which means your purchase will also help support the restoration and release of more silent films.)

What do Nancy and the Mounties have in common? They always get their man! Animated GIF

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Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that the “always get their man” slogan is more Hollywood than reality but I beg the indulgence of my Canadian readers in this instance.

Upstream is one of the lost movies that was recovered during a 2010 expedition to the New Zealand film archive. It was directed by none other than John Ford, who was known for westerns even then but would sometimes branch out to other genres. In this case, a backstage dramedy and a rather good one too. Nancy Nash has won over Grant Withers or is it the other way round? In any case, he sealed the deal with a ring.

I thought Nancy Nash was charming in the film but her Hollywood career seemed to fizzle.

(You can read my review of Upstream here.)

Recommended

Things have not changed in showbiz… Animated GIF

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A terrible actor with a famous name… I can’t imagine anyone hiring someone like that in this day and age.

What am I talking about? Of course they would get hired! (Not naming any names but I am sure that you, dear readers, can think of at least a few.)

Another barbed intertitle from John Ford’s adorable comedy, Upstream.