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FOLLOW THE SUN, PRIDE OF ST. LOUIS

For Hicksflicks.com, Feb. 14, 2014

Listen up, sports fans, a couple of vintage biographies are making their DVD debuts and if you love golf or baseball, you'll want to check out one or both of these.

Both films are part of the latest wave of manufacture-on-demand DVDs from Fox Cinema Archives and can be purchased at Amazon.com. They're also rentable online at Classic Flix.

"Follow the Sun" (1951, b/w) is the (Hollywood fictionalized) story of golf pro Ben Hogan, with Glenn Ford teeing up as the legendary player.

The film follows his personal life and career as he marries Valerie Hogan (Anne Baxter); dreams of going pro while caddying in Fort Worth, Texas; serves his country during World War II; eventually finds golfing success on the professional circuit; sees it slip away after a disabling car accident; and finally struggles to regain his health and strength to get back on the links.

Dennis O'Keefe and June Havoc co-star, and there are appearances of celebrity golfers Jimmy Demaret, Gary Middlecoff and Sam Snead, along with sportswriter Grandland Rice.

To purchase: Amazon; to rent: Classic Flix

"The Pride of St. Louis" (1952, b/w) is the (Hollywood fictionalized) story of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher "Dizzy" Dean, played by Dan Dailey in one of his most famous roles.

Dean is an uneducated pitcher in the Ozarks when a scout brings him to the minors to test him out, but Dean's ego and overabundance of self-confidence make it difficult for him to start a the bottom, and his later antics will get him into hot water after he becomes a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The film also covers Dean's marriage to Patricia Nash (Joanne Dru); his being joined on the team by his brother "Daffy" (played by a very young Richard Crenna); his returning to the team too soon after an injury, which eventually brings down his baseball career; his subsequent drinking and gambling problems, which leads to a separation from his wife; and the radio color-commentator career that put him back in the spotlight.

To purchase: Amazon; to rent: Classic Flix

Both films are slick Hollywood products of the 1950s, both are in black and white, and both are very entertaining. And if they are not always accurate in their depiction of the subjects' lives, they are certainly true to the spirit of their success in their respective fields of athletics.