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Upperworld (1934)

Approved | | Drama | 28 April 1934 (USA)
A rich railroad tycoon, bored with his marriage (his wife has no time for him -- she's too busy giving parties and sailing on yachts) starts seeing a showgirl. This are going OK until the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexander Stream
Lilly Linda
Tommy Stream
Lou Colima (as J. Carroll Naish)
Officer Moran
Banker Making Toast at Banquet
Theodore Newton ...
Reporter Rocklen
Police Commissioner Clark
Robert Greig ...
Marc Caldwell--Butler
Police Inspector Kellogg
Police Capt. Reynolds


A rich railroad tycoon, bored with his marriage (his wife has no time for him -- she's too busy giving parties and sailing on yachts) starts seeing a showgirl. This are going OK until the girl's manager/boyfriend, seeing his chance to make some big money, decides to blackmail him. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

28 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Upper World  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The airplane in which Stream takes Lilly to upstarted NY is a Bellanca CH400 registration #NC12635. It was owned by Wallace Beery. See more »


References Goodbye Again (1933) See more »


Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Written by Ann Ronell and Frank Churchill
Sung by Ginger Rogers and Warren William
See more »

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User Reviews

Tragedy and Scandal
25 March 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Upperworld of railroad tycoon Warren William almost crashes into a show girl rather abruptly with his speeding power boat nearly running down a swimming Ginger Rogers.

Now more than likely she would have picked herself up, dusted herself off and started all over again as she did in a song she sung in a later film normally. But Warren William's marriage to Mary Astor is running into some rough seas itself. She's too busy being a socialite to have time for her husband and son, little Dickie Moore. Consequently William is ripe for a relationship with Rogers. One that her sleazy boyfriend J. Carrol Naish is ready to take advantage of.

One of the things I found fascinating with Upperworld is the rather rigid roles for the sexes that are defined. William is king of his castle and the wife is their for him. Astor is condemned for wanting something more than being the dutiful wife and mother, a career of her own is not even mentioned as a possibility. She's condemned for being social butterfly and later is properly repentant when tragedy strikes.

As for Rogers even though she gets into this quite by accident, she's still a homewrecker and a person in a not quite respectable profession of showgirl.

Upperworld is a story of tragedy and scandal and the leads are given a good group of supporting players fitting comfortably into roles they've all played before. Please make note of Andy Devine as the chauffeur and Robert Grieg as the butler to William and Astor. Both serve as confidantes at various times of the film to William. Also note Sidney Toler as the beat cop and righteous voice of working class America determined to bring Warren William down. His deductions are worthy of Charlie Chan.

This view of the mores of high society is what we get from Upperworld, a most typical product of the working class studio that was Warner Brothers back in the day.

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