starring Babe Ruth, Ruth Taylor
September 24, 1920
This is the Babe Ruth picture which Tex Rickard is exploiting at Madison Square Garden this week, and judging from the attendance Sunday night, the official opening, Rickard has picked another coin garnerer irrespective of the merits o the picture.
Just as the crowds get up and leave the Polo Grounds satisfied, after watching the big slugger bury one in the top of the grand stand, just so they were satisfied at the Garden when Babe won the game for the home club after wandering through countless scenes dressed in street attire and toting a piece of hickory from which he was supposedly fashioning the bat that later on was to make him famous.
There is a story running through the picture and so many minor characters that it would take a computing machine to record them all without the aid of a program. None of the latter were on sale, but everything else was, from Babe Ruth phonograph records to the Babe Ruth song, "Oh You Babe Ruth," which was sung and played by Lieut. J. Tim Bryan's Black Devil Band, who accompanied the picture.
The story deals with Babe's adolescent effort to convince the home town skeptics that he is the goods as a ball player. They refused to be convinced until a visiting team arrives and, after the pitcher of the visitors gets drunk on the town barber's tonsil tonic, the Babe is given an opportunity to substitute and breaks up the game in the ninth inning with one of his circuit clouts. Then the home towners want to lynch him and Babe is forced to flee town.
Ruth Taylor plays the daughter of the village banker, who has no use for Babe, and there is a rival who doubles as pitcher for the home team when he isn't stealing pop's kale. He is the cashier of father's bank and an ex-dice cheater, who rambled into town and got in solid because he could pitch a little. The Babe saves the girl from eloping with the scoundrel and hands him a fine pasting in the bargain.
Later Babe goes to the big town and in some miraculous manner gets into the big league. Three days before he dons his big league spangles he jumps back home, marries the girl, is landed (sic) and welcomed by all the town knockers and next we see all the principals in boxes at the Polo Grounds where Babe entertains by crushing the apple for them.
The story as a story is ridiculous and isn't convincingly enacted. It couldn't hold the interest of anyone for five seconds if it were not for the presence of the great athlete. He, and he alone, makes it worth five minutes of anybody's time.
"Bugs" Baer wrote the titles, and all connected with the picture owe him a vote of thanks for saving he situation on many occasions with his screamingly funny wise cracks.
The direction is atrocious and the supporting members of the cast, with the exception of the woman lead, a tot who plays Babe's foster sister, and an excellent piece of character work by Babe's screen mother, are on a par with the direction.
The picture has been thrown together to capitalize Ruth's tremendous popularity and, as such, it will do a success. Ten thousand people sat patiently through the dreary preliminary scenes waiting for their idol to reach his specialty which is the promulgation of home runs. This is an age of specialists, and as a picture star, Ruth qualifies as the greatest batsman that baseball has ever developed.
starring Babe Ruth, Ruth Taylor
Perhaps you are one of those who saved up enough pennies to see Babe Ruth display his prowess on the baseball field only to be interrupted by the fair damsel on your right requesting peanuts and lemonade just as Babe scores a homer. Perhaps you have been carrying a heavy grudge on your shoulder ever since. Be that the case, you can remedy the evil, for Babe Ruth not only enacts his life story in "Headin' Home," but he throws a wicked bat and slides a tricky home plate. Ruth's rise to fame is told by an old man from his hometown seated in the grandstand. There is a real plot and a counterplot and enough views of Ruth to please the most inveterate "fan." Madison Square Garden being the largest hall in town, was engaged to present the feature in New York.
starring Babe Ruth and Ruth Taylor
NEW YORK TIMES
September 20, 1920
Madison Square Garden, having been used for almost everything else that crowds go to see and hear, has now become a motion-picture theatre for the week to show the batting Babe Ruth's first flier into films, "Headin' Home," which opened last night. Wherever a celebrity of the sport world or divorce court appears in pictures, the public, as a rule, doesn't expect much in the way of a story and acting, and usually doesn't get as much as it expects, chiefly because the celebrity takes himself or herself and the picture seriously and attempts to be heroic. It is, therefore, of moment to record that Babe Ruth and "Headin' Home" do not deal, except occasionally and briefly, in the regulation movie stuff. They try for comedy, not heroics, and score not infrequently. The picture is really entertaining in places, and that is a lot to say for a production of its kind. It would be better if it were only two reels long -- there's not enough to it to fill more -- but let it go as it is, and thank it for what it doesn't try to do as well as for what it does. Also there are many excellent pictures of Babe Ruth in it -- and he is an interesting person.
In the story Babe is the small town bumpkin. "Bugs" Baer's captions good-naturedly poke fun at him, and he is entirely receptive. Best of all, he can't play ball -- until he gets mad one day and knocks his first home run, through a church window five blocks away. Then he seems to get on to the thing, joins a team, and some time later signs a big league contract, which entitles him to return home a hero -- but not so heroic that one must forget him as the likable country boy. Just how he became famous is not shown, the story skipping about rather aimlessly, not bothered by continuity and things like that, but everybody knows, anyhow, that Babe Ruth can bat, so it is all accepted on the face of it -- and the picture of the hero knocking a long home run in the Polo Grounds is a genuine thriller.
For more information, see "Headin' Home" as our "Feature of the Month
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