Director:

John Ford

Writer:

Randall Faye

Cinematographer:

Charles G. Clarke

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Some reviews list the surname of Nancy Nash's character as "King." In 2009, Upstream, long thought to be a lost film, was confirmed to be in the collection of the New Zealand Film Archive. The picture was re-patriated to the U.S. in 2010 as part of a group of seventy-five rare nitrate American films from the archive. The picture was restored in New Zealand through the cooperation of the AMPAS Film Archive and Twentieth Century-Fox. The print viewed, the first public screening since the picture's original theatrical release, was the restored version. The print was complete, aside from two or three shots lost through nitrate deterioration. Although an original cast list was on the print, there were no production crew credits.
       Upstream was director John Ford's only film released in 1927, and came at the beginning of a period of more than a decade during which he did not direct any Westerns, the genre with which he had been most associated. Modern sources have indicated that Upstream reflected Ford's interest in using lighting and other techniques observed while he watched recently emigrated German expressionist director F. W. Murnau work on Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which was made at Fox at about the same time (see entry). Actors Grant Withers, Earle Foxe and Ford's brother Francis appeared in numerous other of the director's ... More Less

Some reviews list the surname of Nancy Nash's character as "King." In 2009, Upstream, long thought to be a lost film, was confirmed to be in the collection of the New Zealand Film Archive. The picture was re-patriated to the U.S. in 2010 as part of a group of seventy-five rare nitrate American films from the archive. The picture was restored in New Zealand through the cooperation of the AMPAS Film Archive and Twentieth Century-Fox. The print viewed, the first public screening since the picture's original theatrical release, was the restored version. The print was complete, aside from two or three shots lost through nitrate deterioration. Although an original cast list was on the print, there were no production crew credits.
       Upstream was director John Ford's only film released in 1927, and came at the beginning of a period of more than a decade during which he did not direct any Westerns, the genre with which he had been most associated. Modern sources have indicated that Upstream reflected Ford's interest in using lighting and other techniques observed while he watched recently emigrated German expressionist director F. W. Murnau work on Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which was made at Fox at about the same time (see entry). Actors Grant Withers, Earle Foxe and Ford's brother Francis appeared in numerous other of the director's films. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
9 Feb 1927
p. 29.
Film Daily
6 Feb 1927.
---
Los Angeles Times
7 Jun 2010.
---
New York Times
7 Jun 2010.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on "The Snake's Wife," a short story by Wallace Smith published in the May 1926 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 January 1927
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 January 1927
Copyright Number:
LP23638
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
gauge
35mm
Length(in feet):
5,510
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the New York theatrical boardinghouse run by Ms. Hattie Breckenbridge, the guests range from song-and-dance team Callahan and Callahan to impoverished, elderly Shakespearean actor Campbell-Mandare. One of the borders, knife thrower Jack La Velle, is in love with Gertrude Ryan, one of his partners in the act, but she is in love with their other partner, Eric Brashingham, the last, and least talented, in a long line of noted actors. One evening, famed theatrical agent Gus Hoffman comes to the boardinghouse, exciting all of the eager performers, except Brashingham, who continues to eat his dinner. The others are disappointed when Hoffman reveals that he only has come to hire Brashingham for a new London production of Hamlet , adding that it doesn’t matter that he is a bad actor because his family name is all that is needed. Brashingham accepts, but is worried about his abilities until Campbell-Mandare takes him under his wing and couches him on how to play Shakespeare. Gertrude is convinced that Brashingham wants her to come with him, especially when he tells her that he has something important to ask, then is heart-broken when he merely asks for fifty dollars. Three months later, Gertrude has not heard from Brashingham, but prays that his opening night will be a success. Meanwhile, in London, as a terrified Brashingham waits in his dressing room for the opening curtain, he evokes the memory of Campbell-Mandare’s teachings. His performance is a triumph, earning him a coveted nod from the royal box and the adoration ... +


In the New York theatrical boardinghouse run by Ms. Hattie Breckenbridge, the guests range from song-and-dance team Callahan and Callahan to impoverished, elderly Shakespearean actor Campbell-Mandare. One of the borders, knife thrower Jack La Velle, is in love with Gertrude Ryan, one of his partners in the act, but she is in love with their other partner, Eric Brashingham, the last, and least talented, in a long line of noted actors. One evening, famed theatrical agent Gus Hoffman comes to the boardinghouse, exciting all of the eager performers, except Brashingham, who continues to eat his dinner. The others are disappointed when Hoffman reveals that he only has come to hire Brashingham for a new London production of Hamlet , adding that it doesn’t matter that he is a bad actor because his family name is all that is needed. Brashingham accepts, but is worried about his abilities until Campbell-Mandare takes him under his wing and couches him on how to play Shakespeare. Gertrude is convinced that Brashingham wants her to come with him, especially when he tells her that he has something important to ask, then is heart-broken when he merely asks for fifty dollars. Three months later, Gertrude has not heard from Brashingham, but prays that his opening night will be a success. Meanwhile, in London, as a terrified Brashingham waits in his dressing room for the opening curtain, he evokes the memory of Campbell-Mandare’s teachings. His performance is a triumph, earning him a coveted nod from the royal box and the adoration of the audience. Months later, as the year’s theatrical season comes to an end, boarders return to Ms. Breckenbridge’s. Although Jack and Gertrude's act has been a success, Jack is unhappy because he is still in love with her but afraid to say anything. Encouraged by the house’s star boarder and others to tell Gertrude his feelings, Jack proposes, and she accepts. On the day of their wedding, the conceited Brashingham, who has made a highly publicized return to New York, is asked by Hoffman to visit his old boardinghouse as a set up for the press. Because he arrives just after Jack and Gertrude’s wedding, he thinks that the flowers and the photographer actually are there in his honor. Brashingham’s condescending demeanor irritates his old friends and saddens Campbell-Mandare, who is hurt by Brashingham’s dismissive attitude. After Gertrude runs upstairs in tears, Brashingham goes to her room and tries to kiss her, but Jack breaks in and confronts him. Now Campbell-Mandare tells Brashingham that he is not a true follower of Shakespeare, and with the aid of swift kicks from Callahan and Callahan, Brashingham is thrown down the stairs and out the door. The waiting newsreel cameramen photograph his humiliation, then Brashingham regains his composure and shows his famous profile for his “public.” Upstairs, Gertrude and Jack kiss and look forward to their future together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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