Up the River Overview:

Up the River (1930) was a Comedy - Crime Film directed by John Ford and produced by William Fox.


Tracy's first screen appearance (and Bogart's second) in a prison comedy by Ford. Ex-con Tracy gets himself and former cellmate Hymer thrown back into a pen, only this time it's a comfy medium-security prison with lots of athletics, amateur theatricals, and romance with the women just over the wall. They're joined by cellmate Bogart, who gets mixed up in a romance with Luce and a blackmail plot by Wallace.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


BlogHub Articles:

Up the River – 1930

By Bogart Fan on Jun 10, 2013 From The Bogie Film Blog

My Rating —Worth a Watch—? Your Bogie Fix: ?out of 5 Bogies! Director: ?John Ford The Lowdown Two inmates (Spencer Tracy and Warren Hymer) escape prison to help a recently released convict (Humphrey Bogart) who?s being blackmailed. What I Thought This is one of the few Bogart films that ... Read full article

See all Up the River articles

Quotes from

Saint Louis: Well?
Dannemora Dan: Well, I ain't gonna go through with it, I tell you.
Saint Louis: Now, listen. I never break my word, and I gave my word to Judy - and we're goin' to New England, and we're goin' tonight!
Man: I can't go to New England, not tonight. I'm in the finale.
Man: [offscreen] Oh, St. Louis! What's the use?
Saint Louis: Say, if you don't do like I tell yuh, it's gonna be your finale!

Saint Louis: Steve, you're on the square with Judy, aren't ya'?
Steve Jordan: You bet I am!
Saint Louis: That's all we wanted to know.

Morris: [In the prison: recognizing another inmate, one who apparently caused him to end up in prison] Jessell!
Jessell, man who caused Morris' incarceration: Well, if it ain't little Morris! So YOU'RE here?
Morris: Yes, I'm here. And YOU'RE here, too, where you belong.
Jessell, man who caused Morris' incarceration: Ah, ya' got me all wrong, kid. I lost more money on that horse than YOU did.
Morris: Did you, Jessell? Did you lose your position and money and friends? And mother?... She died at my trial. You killed her. If it hadn't been for you...
Jessell, man who caused Morris' incarceration: Shut up, ya' little swine! You were a thief long before I knew ya'!
Morris: [Lunges and grabs Jessel] That's a lie! Take it back! Take it back!
Steve Jordan: [Jumping in to break it up] Cut it out! Cut it out!
Steve Jordan: Go on, scram!
[Shoves Jessel away; Jessel runs off, Morris remains with downcast look on face]
Steve Jordan: .
Steve Jordan: Don't do that... Come on, don't take it so hard.
Morris: I can't help it. How did your family feel?
Steve Jordan: [Pensively pausing] Well, they don't know. I changed my name... They think I'm in China.
Morris: How'd you do that?
Steve Jordan: Well, I got friends out there. They forward my letters home and cable my folks once a month.
[Loud prison bell rings]
Steve Jordan: I'll see ya' around. I work in the office over there. I gotta' lot of new fish comin' in. You know - associates, inmates. Come on, son. Buck up, boy.
[Gives Morris a reassuring pat and heads off]

read more quotes from Up the River...

Facts about

This is the first John Ford film in which Spencer Tracy appeared: their second collaboration took place three decades later, when Tracy starred in Ford's The Last Hurrah. It is strange to realize that these two great Irish American icons only collaborated two times (Tracy narrated How the West Was Won, one of the sequences of which was shot by Ford, but that doesn't count as a true collaboration), but for most of their careers, they were bound to different studios, Ford to 20th Century-Fox and Tracy to M.G.M. By the time the freelance era rolled around in the late 1950s, Tracy was appearing in very few movies.
Spencer Tracy received a 2-week leave of absence from a hit Broadway show in order to appear in this film. This required the film to be shot under a very tight production schedule.
The first of Humphrey Bogart's feature-length films to be released, on October 12, 1930. His second, "A Devil with Women", was released six days later, on October 18.
read more facts about Up the River...
Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
Also directed by John Ford

More about John Ford >>
Also produced by William Fox

More about William Fox >>
Also released in 1930

See All 1930 films >>