5.9/10
94
7 user 3 critic

Bottoms Up (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 13 April 1934 (USA)
Promoter Smoothe King helps a pair of phonies con their way into a movie company. As Wanda heads toward stardom, she turns more and more from King toward the matinée idol. King must decide between his plans and her happiness.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story revolves around three people; Tycoon Bjorn Faulkner, who is being called upon by his board of directors to explain a missing $20,000,000; Kit Lane, his secretary who also has a ... See full summary »

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Robert Preston, Ellen Drew, Nils Asther
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Divorcee Irene Vail falls for a charming Parisian, but her insanely jealous ex-husband will do anything to get her back...

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo
A Double Life (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Ronald Colman, Edmond O'Brien, Signe Hasso
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Starting with a violent prison break, clever, ruthless Ralph Cotter corrupts everyone around him.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Payton, Helena Carter
Holiday (1930)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Holiday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family.

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Ann Harding, Mary Astor, Robert Ames
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the 1920s Pat Jackson destroys a Chinese post and is discharged from the Navy. Li Po Chang hires him to run a gunboat up the river. He drops Wildeth off at a mission for safety, but when... See full summary »

Director: John G. Blystone
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Fay Wray, Ralph Morgan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After becoming involved in a killing, Kiddo gets on board Boyton's ship. When he learns what happened he dumps her on a South Sea island. Tom Brian marries her, and when Boynton returns ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Blystone
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Peggy Shannon, William 'Stage' Boyd
Up the River (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer
Now I'll Tell (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Golden is a two-bit gambler who has promised wife Virginia he'll quit when he makes $200,000. When he fixes a fight he gets mobster Mossiter mad, then loses his fortune to him. He pawns his... See full summary »

Director: Edwin J. Burke
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Helen Twelvetrees, Alice Faye
Society Girl (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Johnny is training for a championship fight. Judy distracts him, so his manager Briscoe walks out on him. Then so does Judy.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: James Dunn, Peggy Shannon, Spencer Tracy
Sky Devils (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Wilkie and Mitchell, trying to desert their draft into the army, stow away on a ship which takes them into the war zone. While AWOL, the rivals for Mary's affections accidently destroy an ... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Spencer Tracy, William 'Stage' Boyd, George Cooper
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sign painters Joe and Lucky travel around New England looking for jobs. After Joe uses Madge as a model, she hides in their wagon. The painters are about to be charged with kidnapping until... See full summary »

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Marian Nixon, Stuart Erwin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Limey Brook aka Lord Brocklehurst
...
...
Judith Marlowe
...
Detective Rooney
...
Lane Worthing
Suzanne Kaaren ...
Wolf's Secretary
Douglas Wood ...
Edit

Storyline

Promoter Smoothe King helps a pair of phonies con their way into a movie company. As Wanda heads toward stardom, she turns more and more from King toward the matinée idol. King must decide between his plans and her happiness.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For those who like to laugh and sing when tears get in their eyes!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alla conquista di Hollywood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Spencer Tracy's character didn't mentioned the name of the actress (Margaret Lindsay) but he talked about the girl from Iowa who said that she was from England and got a big role in Cavalcade (1933). See more »

Quotes

John Baldwin: I've always considered myself a virtuoso.
Opera Singer: I didn't ask about your morals.
See more »


Soundtracks

Waitin' at the Gate for Katy
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A cute musical satire on the movie business, starring . . . Spencer Tracy?!?
7 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

During the war years in the early 1940s Spencer Tracy was one of the many Hollywood stars who joined traveling U.S.O. shows to entertain American troops. According to contemporary reports, his act consisted of going out on stage in an ill-fitting cowboy suit and belting out the popular novelty hit of the era, "Pistol-Packin' Mama." The punchline is that Spence was tone-deaf and couldn't sing worth a damn, but the guys in uniform would roar with laughter. The worse he sang, the better they liked it.

Knowing this, it's surprising to learn that Tracy actually starred in a 1934 musical comedy called Bottoms Up, made towards the end of his five-year hitch at the Fox studio. James Cagney, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart sang on rare occasions in their films, but Tracy? How could that be? As it turns out, the top-billed star of the show is not required to sing or dance at any time in the course of the movie; instead, Tracy is on hand to provide a comic version of the cocky sharpster he often played in his Fox films. He drives the plot and delivers his wisecracks with requisite skill, but otherwise steers clear of the musical numbers. Second male lead John Boles handles a lot of the singing, but the spotlight is mostly focused on Pat Paterson, a pretty ingénue from England who married Charles Boyer shortly after she appeared in this film.

Paterson plays Madge, a disappointed beauty contest winner from Canada who arrived in Hollywood expecting stardom; only a couple of bit parts have come her way. She's discovered sitting alone in an all-night diner by Smoothie King (Tracy) and his sidekick, pint-sized Limey Brook (played by Herbert Mundin, ubiquitous character actor of the '30s who had a face resembling a sad English bulldog). Smoothie, befitting his name, is a fast-talking con man. He feels genuinely sorry for the girl and takes an interest, but warns her not to fall in love with him because he's "not the marryin' kind." The guy is smug, but with Tracy in the role he's more likable than he would have been otherwise. Smoothie & Limey rescue the girl and give her a place to stay with their pal Spud (Sid Silvers), a sheet music salesman who lives at an abandoned miniature golf course. (Now there's an interesting twist!) As soon as the guys hear Madge sing they know she's got star quality, so Smoothie, well aware that Hollywood snobs kowtow to aristocracy, cooks up a scheme to pass off Madge as visiting nobility from England. She quickly lands a contract with the 4-Star Studio and gets the chance to work with her idol, the hard-drinking matinée idol Hal Ried (John Boles). Complications result when Madge falls in love with Hal, while Smoothie belatedly realizes that he's fallen for the girl himself.

As this plot outline suggests Bottoms Up is a lightweight confection, one of those cheery satires Hollywood liked to aim at itself now and then. It's fun for buffs and generally plays like a cartoon: there's the neurotic producer who surrounds himself with Yes Men, the haughty actress who fires off mean wisecracks at rivals, and the comic figures – Smoothie's sidekicks – who invade sets and accidentally ruin takes. Some of this shtick must have been familiar to audiences when the movie was new, but the quips are generally pretty funny, and the players punch the material across with sass and pizazz. A few interesting faces turn up in the supporting roles, such as Dell Henderson, a movie veteran from Biograph days. It's always a treat to see Thelma Todd, though her role is frustratingly brief. And if you watch closely you'll catch young Lucille Ball, sitting with Boles during a party sequence. Lucy turns up again later in the film's most memorable musical number, a Busby Berkeley-style extravaganza with an 1890s setting. The song is "Waitin' at the Gate for Katie," and like the film's other tunes it never became a standard, but it's pleasant enough.

Like all too many Fox films from this period Bottom Up has practically fallen off the radar screen, but with the recent releases of DVD box sets devoted to the work of Ford, Borzage, and Murnau at Fox there's hope that more of the studio's obscure releases from Pre-Code days will make their way back into circulation. Despite an unexpectedly downbeat ending Bottoms Up is an engaging treat with much to recommend it. It's especially fun to see Spencer Tracy enjoy himself in a comic role – and don't worry, he doesn't sing!


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page