Sog.: dal racconto The Snake’s Wife (1926) di Wallace Smith; Scen.: Randall H. Faye; F.: Charles G. Clarke; Int.: Nancy Nash (Gertie Ryan), Earl Foxe (Eric Brash-ingham), Grant Withers (Juan Rodriguez / John Rogers, lanciatore di coltelli), Lydia Yeamans Titus (padrona di casa), Emile Chautard (Campbell-Mandare), Raymond Hitchcock (pensionante), Ted McNamara, Sammy Co-hen (Callahan & Callahan), Jane Winton (sou-brette), Lilian Worth, Judy King (le due sorelle), Harry A. Bailey (Gus Hoffman), Ely Reynolds (Deerfoot), Francis Ford; Prod.: Fox Film Corporation; Pri. pro.: 30 gennaio 1927
35mm. L.: 1570 m. D.: 61′ a 24 f/s. Imbibito / Tinted
Some seventy-five of these movies, chosen for their historical and cultural importance, are in the process of being returned to the United States under the auspices of the National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit, charitable affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board. (…)
The films came to light early in 2009, when Brian Meacham, a preservationist for the Los Angeles archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, dropped in on colleagues at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington during a vacation. (…) Because of the importance of the John Ford film, Upstream – a back- stage drama from 1927, a year that was a turning point in the development of one of America’s greatest filmmakers – it is being copied to modern safety film stock in a New Zealand laboratory, rather than risk loss or further damage in transit. Although Ford was already famous as a director of epic westerns like The Iron Horse (1925) and Three Bad Men (1926), Upstream appears to be his first film reflecting the influence of the German director F.W. Murnau, who had arrived at Ford’s studio, Fox, in 1926 to begin work on his American masterpiece, Sunrise. From Murnau, Ford learned the use of forced perspectives and chiaroscuro lighting, techniques Ford would use to complement his own more direct, naturalistic style.
Dave Kehr, “New York Times”, June 6th 2010
This long-lost John Ford production was based on The Snake’s Wife, a story by Wallace Smith. The scene is a theatrical boarding house, populated by all manner of colorful show-biz characters. Knife-thrower Jack (Grant Withers) is in love with his vaudeville partner Gertie (Nancy Nash), but she only has eyes for ham actor Eric Bashingham (Earl Foxe). But when Eric has a chance to play Hamlet in London, he drops Gertie like a bad habit. Upon his triumphant return to the boarding house, Eric assumes that he’ll be able to pick up with Gertie where he left off. He walks into what he assumes is a welcoming reception for him, only to discover that it’s a party in honor of Gertie and Jack’s wedding. Unceremoniously booted out of the party, Eric still manages to strike a Barrymoresque pose for the wedding photographers on his way out! The cast includes Ziegfeld Follies headliner Raymond Hitchcock as the “star boarder,” and John Ford’s brother Francis as a juggler with a fondness for the grape.
Hal Erickson, New York Times, June 7th 2010
Restored by: Twentieth Century Fox & Academy Film Archive. Laboratory services: Park Road. Post Production, Wellington, New Zealand. Preserved from a 35mm tinted nitrate print through a partnership of the New Zealand Film Archive, the American archival community, and the National Film Preservation Foundation