A Universal Picture
Directed by Edward Sedgwick
Released August 10, 1924
Running time: 54 minutes
Cast: Hoot Gibson, Marion Harlan, Cyril Ring, Harold Goodwin, De Witt Jennings, Mike Donlin, and William A Steele.
"Hit and Run" is a comedy-drama that opens with a
scene on a train carrying a baseball team. A baseball scout,
Red McCarthy (Mike Donlin), gets into an argument with the team's
manager and gets off the train in the middle of the Western desert.
Near the railroad tracks, a baseball game is undeway, and McCarthy
is stunned by the batting talent of Swat Anderson (Hoot Gibson).
The big league scout signs up " Swat, " the bush leaguer from a small desert town, and in no time at all, "Swat" moves from the bush leagues to the majors, eventually falling in love with McCarthy's sister, Joan (Marian Harlan).
The team's crooked treasurer becomes jealous of the couple's growing relationship, and he plots with a rival manager to ruin "Swat's" career. Before the last game of the series, they kidnap Joan knowing that "Swat" will come to her rescue. The crooks had planned to break his arm, but, instead, "Swat" wipes the floor with his adversaries. The bad guys still manage to overcome "Swat" and tie him and Joan together. The crooks throw them into a freight car
heading the other way. Will "Swat" make it to the game in time to win the pennant?
The film received very favorable reviews:
Harrison's Reports, August 16, 1924: "This is a first-class comedy dealing with the national sport -- baseball. So pleasingly entertaining is it and such a wealth of wholesome comedy does it contain that it should find favor with all picture patrons. Edward Sedgwick deserves praise for its direction. Hoot Gibson, impersonating a 'bush leaguer' from the 'tall and uncut,' has never done anything better. The subtitles are unusually good . . . It should well satisfy all classes of picture goers."
Hoot Gibson, with a circus, cowpuncher and rodeo background,
entered the films as an extra and stunt man. He worked for Ince
and Kalem before joining Universal where he often doubled for
Harry Carey who was Universal's popular cowboy star. After a stint
in the army during World War I, he began playing supporting roles
with his friend Harry Carey under the direction of John
Ford. Carey had created the role of Cheyenne Harry and was Universal's king of the cowboys until the rise of Hoot Gibson.
Gibson developed a novel type of western hero, one who seldom carried a gun and emphasized comedy over action. He developed into a drawing card second only to Tom Mix and Buck Jones in the western field. Although his popularity waned with the coming of sound, he still was a Saturday matinee idol, and his last appearance was in John Ford's "The Horse Soldiers" in 1959.
Edward Sedgwick (1892-1953), the son of actors Edward Sedgwick, Sr. and Josephine Walker, made his own show business entree as one of the Five Sedgwicks, a circus and vaudeville acrobatic act. Two of the other Sedgwicks were Edward's twin sisters Eileen and Josie, who later pursued successful silent-movie acting careers.
In 1915, Sedgwick broke into films as a comedian, frequently cast as a zany baseball player. He became a serial director in 1921, then moved on to the Tom Mix western unit. His lifelong love of baseball came in handy as he helmed the ballpark sequences of many silent films. While at MGM in the late 1920s, Sedgwick found a kindred spirit in fellow baseball buff Buster Keaton. At Keaton's insistence, Sedgwick directed all of Keaton's silent and sound MGM features, including "The Cameraman" and "Spite Marriage" Many have become classics, and a few were clunkers. In the mid-1930s, Sedgwick was briefly a producer/director at Hal Roach Studios and finished his career at the Universal.
The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz
Forty Years Of Screen Credits by John T. Weaver
Who's Who In Hollywood by David Raglan
copyright 2002 by John DeBartolo. All rights reserved.
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