Director:

(as Al Herman)

Writers:

(scenario) (as Al Herman), (story) (as Al Herman)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Buddy Messinger
Arthur Trimble
James Berry ...
(as Bubbles)
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Storyline

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

29 April 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Playing Hookey  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Good, but the extremely politically correct viewers may have a stroke watching this one!
28 March 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This short film was part of a DVD set called "Reel Baseball" and it consists of many silent baseball films. This review is based on Disc 2--a rather enjoyable collection of surprisingly good films with excellent musical scores from Kino.

In the early part of the 20th century, "Willie Winkle" was a popular newspaper comic strip. It was about a working girl and the adventures of her family. This particular film mostly centers on her young brother, Perry (as in "Perry Winkle"). He looks like a girl (a common problem for young boys in the 1920s) but is all boy in his love for baseball. This film is about his big game, though there is a bit more to the film than this--including some early scenes with Willie and the ending section at the dance studio.

Now the politically correct out there might notice a lot of politically incorrect things in the film--something very common in this era. Unless you can set aside your feelings, you might find watching this film to be a chore. Or, if you do watch it, you could later do some penance to pay for your crime (such as snipping a few extra 6-pack plastic rings or giving a few extra quarters to your local hobos). The Black kids in the film have their mouths painted with a white ring around them (to make them APPEAR to be White kids performing as minstrels) and one of them loves to steal chickens. There's also a bit at the very end that seems to encourage child abuse (where Perry is spanked maybe 10-15 times with a shoe). While I think the way Black actors were treated is very sad and I think hitting a kid this way ain't very nice, it doesn't make the film evil--just a product of the times and part of our history (wrinkles and all).

Overall, the film has some cute and funny moments and compared to other comedy shorts of the era and later Little Rascals/Our Gang comedies, it's a bit better than average.


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