Railroad tycoon Alex Stream gets the blues when his society-page wife forgets their anniversary. Impulsively, he celebrates instead with vivacious burlesque dancer Lily Linda. The two soon establish a sweet, sympathetic relationship.
Warren William. Ginger Rogers. Mary Astor. Sidney Toler. Andy Devine. J. Carroll Naish. John Qualen. No fan of Golden Era films would want to miss this luminous cast, even if all the stars did was sort socks. Instead, they light up a dynamic pre-Code programmer loaded with '30s moxie. Railroad tycoon Alex Stream (William) gets the blues when his society-page wife (Astor) forgets their anniversary. Impulsively, he celebrates instead with vivacious burlesque dancer Lily Linda (Rogers). The two soon establish a sweet, sympathetic relationship. But it turns deadly serious when a would-be blackmailer tries to plug Alex, Lily takes the bullet and Alex finds himself accused of murder! "It is a lively situation in which to embroil a spectator," Andre D. Sennwald wrote in The New York Times, "and the breath comes pleasantly fast while it is being resolved."
Written by the prolific Ben Hecht, UPPER WORLD is a clash-of-class melodrama set in New York City. Railroad tycoon Alexander Stream (Warren William) is neglected by his social-climbing wife Mary Astor. Quite unintentionally, through a chance encounter, he strikes up a reasonably chaste friendship with good-hearted showgirl Lilly Linder (Ginger Rogers). Lilly's ex-boyfriend Lou Colima (J. Carroll Naish) sees an opportunity to blackmail Stream; Lilly tries to block him from doing so, and is murdered for her troubles. Stream shoots Colima in self-defense and manages to cover up his involvement so that the crime scene looks like a murder-suicide, protecting his good name and marriage in the process. But a vitriolic cop (Sidney Toler), whom Stream had earlier gotten demoted over a traffic stop -- and who was on patrol in the vicinity of the crime -- involves himself in the case and gathers enough evidence to point the detectives and the press toward the wary tycoon. Though he must stand trial for Colima's death, Stream is supported in his ordeal by his suddenly attentive and affectionate wife.
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