starring Charles Ray, Colleen Moore and John Gilbert
MOTION PICTURE CLASSIC
Probably we liked Charlie Ray's "The Busher" (Paramount) better than anything else of the month. This may because we suffer severely from baseballitis, for, in this story by Earle Snell, Mr. Ray plays a small-town pitcher who is graduated to the big leagues. Ben Harding, alias Mr. Ray, loses his head over his sudden fame and is finally released by the irate Pink Sox manager. He blows back to Brownsville on a freight and finally begins pitching again for the Brownsville Stars. There the Pink Sox's scout, observing his cured case of enlarged cranium, re-signs him for the National League. But this time Ben takes his sweetheart with him to the big city. Mr. Ray gives a wealth of shading to the regenerated twirler, and Otto Hoffman makes the small role of Deacon Nasby stand out. "The Busher" is nearly a home run.
Starring Charles Ray, Colleen Moore and John Gilbert
May 30, 1919
The latest Paramount starring Charles Ray is entitled "The Busher." It is a comedy drama that has thrills, laughs and sobs, and above all Charles Ray in a role that fits him to a tee. The production is a five-reeler written by Sarie Snell with scenario by R. Cecil Smith. The direction was by Jermome Storm with Chester Lyons grinding the film box.
It is a rube story with the hero a small time baseball pitcher who gets into one of the small leagues, makes good, does a flop because his head gets swelled and finally returns to the little town to rehabilitate himself. He succeeds in doing this by jumping into a game of ball that the local team is playing and does the usual "save the game in the ninth" by slamming out a homer and sending home a couple of the gang that were on the bags.
Whoever wrote the titles ground out some laugh producing stuff that gets to the audience in great shape. The direction is corking throughout the picture, and the director has made a delightful use of the Ray "hick" mannerisms. His ball playing touches are well directed, and the action in the games is handled so that the audience is on the game at all times.
The photography is also worth more than passing mention for several of the shots showing pastoral scenes are particularly effective. The one scene with the cow, Ray, and Colleen Moore is worthy of a master painter's brush.
Miss Moore is the ingénue lead opposite the star. She enacts the rural beauty in a delightful manner. Jack Gilbert, Jay Morley and Otto Hoffman as members of the supports are all that can be asked for.
The scenes for the greater part are exteriors, and the production cost cannot be very great, but it meets the requirements of the story. There is one particularly effective comedy scene showing a small town shadow sociable that gets any number of laughs.
"The Busher" is well worth playing and particularly so at this time of the year when all audience in America are bound to have a little of the baseball bug working on them.
See more on "The Busher" as our "Feature of the Month"
Return to reviews page