ONE MORE INNING ARTICLE FOR BASEBALL GURU
BASEBALL FILMS THAT BABE RUTH APPEARED IN
Last month we looked at three baseball films that this reviewer felt were pretty awful and the promise was made that in December we would go over some slightly better ones,
A change of plans. In this segment we'll take a detour and look at the four films Babe Ruth appeared in as an actor. I promised last month to talk about slightly better films, we'll wait for that until next month but for now.
BABE COMES HOME:1927
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES;1947
"THIS IS THE STORY OF BABE RUTH'S LIFE" "THE
STORY OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER" "YOU'LL THRILL AT BABE RUTH HIMSELF AS HE GOES FROM ONE ACHIEVEMENT AFTER ANOTHER."
All of the above is what the public had to endure before they went to sit through a rather ordinary movie that had nothing to do with the real life of Ruth.
The movie was called, "Headin' Home" and it bombed at the boxoffice, Even the fact that Babe Ruth played himself didnt rescue it from being a failure.
Nothing in it resembles anything about Ruth's life and is complete poppycock.
What's interesting though is what he had to do to make the film. It
was shot in Haverstraw. He would get up at 7, take the ferry from
Jimmy Reese (who played and roomed with Ruth) told me in an interview that he knew for certain Ruth had an affair with a young girl while there and she eventually had a son that Ruth supported for many years afterwards.
Two of his other films didn't pretend to depict his life and they also ended up to be routine.
SPEEDY was a film that stared Comedian Harold Lloyd and ended up being his last silent film. The storyline had Lloyd trying to save the last horse drawn passenger line from being phased out. In it Ruth played one of his hapless passengers. His role was meager but it drew in the customers. it featured two truncated baseball scenes and unbelievably Ruth was a spectator and not a participant!
BABE COMES HOME
Ruth is Babe Dugan here and is the star of his baseball team. He does have a habit of chewing Tobacco which drives the teams cleaners crazy who can't clean his uniforms. They send their best laundress (Anna Q. Nilsson) to one of his games to tell him to cut it out. While at bat Dugan hits a foul ball which lands in Nilsens eye, Dugan apologizes, a romance ensues, but it becomes rocky.
Nilsson wants him to stop using Tobacco, he refuses, and they part. After awhiles he has a change of heart. In the ninth inning Dugan gets up, His team is losing, there's 2 outs. and the bases are loaded. She throws him a chewing tobacco and he of course hit's a grand slam. All is forgiven.
The film ends with Dugan giving up Tobacco.
"Babe Comes home" was very successful and earned more money for Ruth than his whole years baseball salary. Rumor has it that Ruth liked the picture so much that he saw it six times. We can't because the film is lost!
"PRIDE OF THE YANKEES" is about Lou Gehrig and we talked about it's non-merits last month. This was the last role Ruth would play in a motion picture. His performance was one of the very few highlights of a typical hollywoodish mishmash of a baseball biography, He is himself here and his acting is natural and ingratiating . At this point he was battling Cancer. In less than a few months he passed away from it.
In January we'll finally get to look at some better films dealing with the grand old game .THAT'S A PROMISE!!