Tired and tiresome college football is back on the agenda in Walter Lang's The College Hero (1927). Columbia's silents have a bad reputation. If this effort is anything to go by, it's a poor repute that's certainly well deserved. In fact, I find it a little hard to decide which was the more enervating the acting, the cornball writing or the less than efficient direction. I think acting wins. Rex Lease gives a really dreadful performance. He makes his football-playing student so charmless, we wonder why on earth the other characters least of all the fairly personable Bobby Agnew play up to him. The much vaunted Pauline Garon of The Painted Flapper, Passionate Youth, Eager Lips, etc. also proves most disappointing in the flesh. Admittedly, she looks great in her still photos, but on screen she is somewhat less than the nubile young lady our hero deserves. On the other hand, Joan Standing, who is supposed to play a "dog", and whom photographer Ted Tetzlaff goes out of his way to present warts and all, is actually quite attractive. Last and by no means least, there's Ben Turpin. True, Ben's material is wafer thin, but Ben manages to spin it out and make the worst of it.
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