We already know that transportation tycoon Alexander Stream (played by Warren Williams) is rich in Roy Del Ruth's Upperworld (1934) because he has an obese servant, a fancy car and you can't see the ceilings in his mansion. But it's not until this stunning shot that the film expresses Stream's wealth and power as a man of business. After a false crane setting the scene as just one of many floors in the "Alexander Stream Building," our shot begins: the camera rushes backwards with the nervous energy of an office underling as it preceeds the silent, assured striding of Stream through his office abuzz with unanswered greetings, formal attire and remarkable foot traffic. What's this? Stream's office seems so large and labyrinthine that by all appearances the man (and camera) walk in a complete circle—but before we can grasp the Borges-ian spatial layout of this office floor the camera pierces first one and then two walls before landing, with Stream, in the tycoon's office. One tangential (or is it critical?) detail: though his personal chamber is shown twice more, the huge, lavish set we just saw never again appears in the film.
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