Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The screen popularity of "All American Boy" Charles Ray was fading in the mid-1920s, forcing the 34-year-old actor to return to his old bumpkin-makes-good formula in the inexpensively produced Sweet Adeline. Ray plays small-towner Ben Wilson, who's so incredibly bashful that he can only sulk in the shadows when his obnoxious older brother Bill (Jack Clifford) begins to flirt with his sweetheart Adeline (Gertrude Olmstead). Hoping to prove his worth in the Big City, Ben tries to get a job as a nightclub singer, only to be laughed off the stage because of his rubelike demeanor. But Ben finally wins over the urban wise-guys with a heartfelt rendition of the old standard Sweet Adeline. Almost instantly, Ben is hired by a Broadway impresario, earning our hero fame, fortune, and, of course, the eternal devotion of the real Sweet Adeline. Though it might have passed muster during Charles Ray's peak in the pre-1920 years, Sweet Adeline seemed hopelessly anachronistic in the jazz-age 1920s.
rags-to-riches, girl, ray [beam]