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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is the first Charles Ray film that I've seen. He was the embodiment of clean-cut American goodness and was enormously popular in the silent era.
And it's easy to see why. Not only does he have devastatingly good looks, he is also very charming and is able to convey a shy humility that is very touching. There is a deep emotional undercurrent to all his work - and he openly cries in this film. This is a type of acting not often seen with male actors - he is vulnerable and soft and utterly beguiling.
The story's not bad either - a simple baseball yarn as a naive country boy is selected for a big city team and is temporarily corrupted by the decadence of city life.
In support are two future stars - the 19 year old John Gilbert and the 18 year old Colleen Moore. Gilbert is very funny as the arrogant son of the local banker trying to woo Colleen away from Ray. And she's great too as the little country girl who is devoted to Ray.
Highly recommended. It is available on Grapevine Video. It's a good print too - and catch those animated title cards - very cool!
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