InformationProgressive Silent Film ListLost FilmsPeopleTheaters
TaylorologyArticlesHome VideoBooksStoreSearch
Nosferatu on Blu-Ray Disc
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Headin’ Home
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2014 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
Headin’ Home
(1920)
 

Headin’ Home (1920) is not what a baseball fan might hope that it is and yet it is everything you would expect of a low-budget exploitation film. Its lame story is a fictional biography of Ruth, pure hokum designed for children, built up around Ruth and cartoon characters in the nondescript small town of Haverlock. The story, painting Babe as a lazy good for nothing, leads to a ball game where he is expected to be a washout until a mammoth home run hit. Babe saves the banker’s daughter from a swindler, and soon reaches the big time, he saves the banker’s son from a vamp, and returns home to . . . well, stardom, wouldn’t you know.

The producers of the film, which included director Raoul Walsh, didn’t have anything but dollar signs in mind when they initiated this project. Not only did they bilk movie audiences with the substandard Headin’ Home, the AFI catalog relates the story that Babe Ruth received only $15,000 of the $50,000 he was promised to do the film. Apparently, for years Ruth carried around a worthless check for $35,000 as conversation novelty.

The film does, however, contain a few views of (what is likely) the old Polo Grounds, and some documentary footage of Ruth playing baseball. — Carl Bennett

2007 Kino International DVD edition

Reel Baseball: Baseball Films from the Silent Era (1899-1926), black & white, 253 minutes total, not rated,
including Headin’ Home (1920), black & white, 73 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K529, UPC 7-38329-05292-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered disc and one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, two-disc DVD keepcase, $29.95.
DVD release date: 3 April 2007.
Country of origin: USA

This collection of short and feature-length baseball films, including Headin’ Home, has been transferred from film elements provided by Dennis Atkinson, Film Preservation Associates, the Larson-Casselton Collection, the Library of Congress, and Lobster Films.

The films are accompanied by music composed and performed by David Drazin, David Knudtson and Ben Model.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2001 American Home Treasures DVD edition

Great Baseball Movies (1920-1974), black & white, 233 minutes total, not rated,
including Headin’ Home (1920), black & white, 56 minutes, not rated.

American Home Treasures, 30091-D, UPC 0-66805-30091-2.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $9.98.
DVD release date: 20 March 2001.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 5 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.

The highly-compressed video transfer has been mastered from an 8mm reduction print with the usual flaws, including contrasty picture with blasted out highlights and closed-up shadows, long print scratches, and a blurry and overcropped picture with the sides of intertitles and the tops of heads cut off. Some viewers will have trouble reading intertitles due to the tight cropping and Ruth’s letter to home is nearly unreadable due to the hot highlights. A better print has survived and is utilized in the Kino edition noted above.

The film is accompanied by a cobbled together classical music score from LP records that we think is too slow and subdued for a baseball film with comedy.

Headin’ Home is packaged with The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), with Jackie Robinson as himself and the beautiful Ruby Dee as Rae Robinson. The film is presented in a very good but highly-compressed transfer from a very good 35mm print. Robinson does a pretty good job of acting and allowing his personality to come through is this part-biography and part-social statement film that is a valuable document of both Robinson’s life and the late 1940s in America. Look for character actress Mary Wickes as an enthusiastic Brooklyn fan. Also included is the made-for-television biography It’s Good to Be Alive (1974) directed by Michael Landon. Based on his autobiography, the film is the story of the great Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella, which begins with new footage of Campanella ‘writing’ his memoirs and file footage and stills of Campy’s playing days with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Paul Winfield stars as Campy and Ruby Dee appears (again) as his wife, Ruth. The film is presented in a very good but highly-compressed transfer (what should be expected from a budget disc) from an OK 16mm reduction print for broadcast television.

While this budget DVD features three OK baseball films in compressed transfers from substandard to very good materials, the films are quite watchable and the disc is certainly worth the ten bucks (or less) to add to your collection.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other BASEBALL FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Headin’ Home   ||   Top of Page

The Big Parade on Blu-ray

Silent Era Ads
You Can Reach
more than 25,000
Silent Era readers
each month for less
than a dollar a day
with your
text ad here.
Advertise on
Silent Era

Metropolis on Blu-Ray Disc

Keaton on Blu-Ray Disc

Chaplin at Keystone

Complete Metropolis on DVD

Josef von Sternberg DVD

Advertise