Film: 1718

Sport | 1920 | Silent | B/W


Cricket with Jack Hobbs 1920's

'But the Ovalites - and for that matter, the British public - were doomed to disappointment. Yet when the next match - v. Middlesex began, they were as eager and optimistic as ever.'

Middlesex cricket eleven take the field for their match with Surrey. Jack Hobbs and his opening partner make their way to the wicket to open Surrey's innings. 'Once again Dame Misfortune chuckled at the great man'. 'On Saturday, Aug. 15 (1925) the Surrey team came to Taunton to play Somerset.' Shot of spectators, including woman, making way to seats in the ground. Camera pans low grandstand from on the pitch. A bright sunny day attracts a large crowd. Newspaper billboard proclaims 'HOBBS DAY TO-DAY ?'. Hobbs enters the pitch from the club house to open the batting, with his partner following. The crowd applaud and we can see a small schoolboy with a knotted handkerchief on his head clapping the player's entrance. 'When Hobbs came out to bat, he probably had in mind that he scored his hundredth century against Somerset in 1923'.

We see the Somerset bowler deliver his ball to Hobbs as the fielders crouch down in anticipation. Hobbs plays the ball for a single. Left-arm spin is next and Hobbs plays off his leg for another single. Shot of the scoreboard showing Surrey have scored 77 for 1. The wicket falling at 50 and the batsman scoring 13. Hobbs is 44 not out and the number 3 batsman, 13 not out. The clock over the scoreboard shows 5.42 p.m. The crowd salute Hobbs' 50, and he removes his cap and acknowledges their applause by raising his bat. 'When stumps were drawn on Saturday evening, the score-board had assumed an interesting aspect. Hobbs was 91 - not out ! Shot of scoreboard confirming this at 6.45 p.m. Surrey have scored 151 for 3 at close of play, their last wicket falling at 148 for no score. Crowd rise and make their exits.

'On the following day - Sunday - he did his best to forget all about cricket.'We see Hobbs, and what are probably his team mates, being served tea and refreshments outdoors by a formally dressed waitress. All the players wear suits and ties. They are seated in deck chairs around a laid table. 'Monday Morning. The Taunton ground almost sizzled with pent-up excitement.' Hobbs exits the pavilion to make his way to the wicket and is greeted with enthusiastic applause from the spectators. His partner, possibly Douglas Jardine, swiftly follows. 'But in the midst of it all, one man was cool, calm, and collected. That man was Jack Hobbs.' We see the two batsmen reach the wicket and the waiting opposition. The action begins and we get a low-angled shot from behind the wicket. 'Every ball bowled, extracted a gasp from the multitude !' Hobbs is unable to score from the next ball shownand the next. He continues to be frustrated by a number of good balls before he sweeps one off his legs for 2 runs. 'A no-ball slashed to the boundary, brought him 4 runs closer to the coveted century.' Some more balls without score.

'The stroke that enabled Hobbs to equal the wonderful record of the late W.G. Grace.' We see in slow motion Hobbs play a full toss off his legs for the required runs. The opposition and crowd cheer Hobbs' feat, and he acknowledges by removing his cap and holding his bat aloft. 'At the same time, he drew level with another record achievement - - 13 centuries in one season. The applause continues and Hobbs looks suitably embarrassed. 'His captain Mr P.G.H. Fender, lost no time in acknowledging the great feat.' We see Fender running onto the pitch to congratulate Hobbs.

'The bat that broke the record. Hobbs has insured it for £200.' Shot of Hobbs in blazer and whites holding the bat. Close-up of the Lloyd's insurance policy showing the premium of 15 shillings having been paid to insure the bat used to score his 126th century. 'Just a few of the telegrams.' We see a handful of the telegrams. 'Congratulations !' Hobbs in blazer and whites smoking a pipe. He greets an elderley man in a boater in what looks like a back garden. The two converse. 'In the evening, he seemed to have forgotten all about cricket. Shot of Hobbs in waistcoat and shirtsleeves playing billiards. 'The morrow saw Taunton turning out to see the last day's play, but ----!' Camera pans the crowded ground from the pitch.

Newspaper billboard proclaims '*Star* HOBBS' 127TH - Final Edition Star.' Hobbs plays a ball off his legs for one run. 'Somewhere in front of the pavilion he made a speech. Spectators congregate on pitch. 'And in the game of Life, a true Sportsman can always find time to forget centuries and records.' Hobbs is next shown in his back garden seated at a small table in a suit, smoking his pipe and reading a newspaper. He is joined by a young girl, probably his daughter, who kisses him on the cheek as she sits on his knee. We get a closer shot of the happy, smiling couple. 'Through all his triumphs and successes he has always remained the same - as modest as he is magnificent.'

Next clip - 'JACK HOBBS'. 'The Surrey men were playing Notts - one of the strongest sides in the country. Shot of action on pitch with what looks like Hobbs fielding in the covers. 'By the time the Notts innings closed, the crowd had grown to record proportions.' Shot of teeming crowd, many wearing flat caps. 'Probably the Ovalites had in mind that Hobbs highest score - 226 - was made against Notts at the Oval in 1914.' We see Hobbs leaving gate of pavilion to open Surrey's innings with his partner.

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