Ben Harding is a terrific pitcher for a small-town amateur baseball team. When the Minneapolis Pink Sox, a major-league team, is delayed in his town, Ben's team plays a scrub game against them and the Pink Sox are astonished to see this amateur strike out their best batters. Ben is given a contract with the Pink Sox but his experience in the big city on a major-league team changes him into a rude and pompous lout. Only when his good fortune is reversed does Ben have a chance to right himself. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Considering when it was made, this is an exceptional film
Reviewing and rating a movie like THE BUSHER is difficult in that you really can't place the same standards on this film as you would a sound film or even a silent film from only a few years later. That's because until about 1912, there really hadn't been feature films as we think of them today. Most films were incredibly short in length and a 10-minute film was about average. Complex films were certainly NOT the norm, though a few exceptions come to mind (such as the Italian film CABIRIA, several D. W. Griffith epics and the delightful DADDY LONGLEGS). Generally, when we think of the "great" silents, they are the ones made in the 1920s--and often the mid to late 1920s.
So, for 1919, THE BUSHER is a definite standout film, though had it been made just a few years later I would have rated it lower as my expectations would have been a lot higher. For example, the plot seemed extremely melodramatic (and similar to a Horatio Alger story) and was a lot like an old fashioned stage production in that sense. But, for 1919, this was NOT seen as clichéd and so this can easily be forgiven.
As for the rest of the film, it was shot on location in what looked like a small town and offered a lot of heart. From a historical or nostalgic point of view, it was a lot of fun to watch. Baseball fans in particular will love the old uniforms, gloves and style of play and can forgive the somewhat archaic characters. Those NOT enamored with history, nostalgia and baseball still might enjoy the film, though with kids craving explosions and mindless entertainment, this film might be too taxing or cerebral for some viewers.
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