Thursday, December 2, 2010
Pre- Code: Upper World (1934).
Upper World(1934).Cast: Warren William, Ginger Rogers and Mary Astor.
Rich railroad tycoon Alex Stream, is a loving family man. His wife Hettie's, first priority in life is her rich society friends.
When Alex rescues drowning showgirl Lilly Linder, he finds her very charming and she thanks him by cooking dinner for him.
When Hettie forgets their wedding anniversary and makes other plans, Alex invites Lilly to join him for dinner. Soon after, Alex finds himself spending a lot of time with Lilly.
Lilly's boyfriend, tries to convince her to blackmail Alex, and when she refuses, Lou steals Alex's letters to her. When Lou confronts him, Alex believes that Lilly was also involved in the plan. While he tries to get the letters back from Lou, he shoots and accidentally kills Lilly. Alex shoots Lou in self-defense, then tries to make it look like a murder-suicide. Alex thinks that nobody has seen him, but a policeman recognised his car parked outside the apartment and is convinced that he is the murderer. Will Alex be able to prove his innocence?
Both Mary Astor and Ginger Rogers are both entertaining, in this early movie in their film careers. William is his typical cool self. Dickie Moore is also good as William's son and Naish steals the scenes as the ruthless wannabe gangster. Sidney Toler, the future Charlie Chan, plays the cop out to catch William. It is also fun to see a younger Andy Devine.
He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
After moving from Broadway to Hollywood in 1931, he reached his peak as a leading man in early 1930's pre-Code films. He was known for playing heartless businessmen and lawyers, including the Sam Spade character in the second filming of, The Maltese Falcon, called Satan Met a Lady (1936).
He also played sympathetic roles as in, Imitation of Life, in which he portrayed Claudette Colbert's love interest. He appeared as her love interest again that year, when he played Julius Caesar in the film, Cleopatra. He was the swashbuckling d'Artagnan in, The Man in the Iron Mask(1939).
William, was the first to portray the defense attorney, Perry Mason and starred in four Perry Mason mysteries.
He also played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief, The Lone Wolf beginning with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) and he starred as detective Philo Vance, in two films in that series, 1934's The Dragon Murder Case and 1939's The Gracie Allen Murder Case.