Barnstormer (1922)

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This comedy was one of Charles Ray's last for First National, and in it, Ray continues to do damage to his starring career. Once again, his directing is poorly paced, and even though he makes a return to his familiar rube character, the slight material undermines him at every turn. Although Joel Utility (Ray) is a country boy, he has caught the acting bug and spends more time studying his correspondence course on make-up than he does on work. When a road show comes through town, he manages to get a job with them as a handyman and eventually works his way up to extra. Joel completely idolizes the show's leading man (Wilfred Lucas), and he does his best to emulate him. While the company is spending a week in one town, Joel falls for Emily, whose father runs the local drug store (Charlotte Pierce). When the troupe performs a show called "The Five Thieves," a hold-up man appears, forcing Joel to pass his hat to collect the audience's valuables. But Joel rebels and unmasks the crook -- who turns out to be the leading man. The goods are returned and Joel, now a hero, winds up with Emily.



daughter, love, romance, stars [celebrities], traveling-show