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>
Sentimental and charming silent film starring Charles Ray as Ben, a bashful small town farm boy who loves baseball and is the pride of the town based on his great curve ball. He lives in the kind of pleasant country town of yesteryear where the doings include box socials, square dances, and old-timers gossiping in the general store sitting around the pickle barrel. When the St. Paul Pink Sox get stranded in town for a day, Ben asks these new fellows to choose sides and play some ball - not realizing they are professional ballplayers. He manages to strike out a top player and is soon invited to join the team. The other players think he's a rube and decide to "break him in", and soon our fellow has acquired city ways, city clothes, and a city vamp chasing after him - - and he forgets his small town friends.
This is a very enjoyable film - a real treat to see. Colleen Moore is very young and lovely here - but it is Charles Ray who plays the innocent country boy with so much charm, vulnerability, and emotion, he completely steals this film. There is a very entertaining scene showing a bid for lunches at the "box social" in which the men can only see the ladies via shadow play - Charles Ray elicits much emotion in this scene, as well as another scene where he receives a telegram and is worried that someone has died - everything he's thinking registering on his handsome, open face. By the way, watch for a very young and slim John Gilbert in this, as the banker's son, a rival for the affections of Colleen Moore. The Kino DVD of this features a nice-looking print and fast-paced, snappy ragtime piano score that suits the film to a tea.
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