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Playing the Game

Playing the Game
Directed byVictor Schertzinger
Screenplay byJulien Josephson (story)
R. Cecil Smith (scenario)
Produced byThomas H. Ince
StarringCharles Ray
Doris May
Harry L. Rattenberry
Robert McKim
William Elmer
Leota Lorraine
CinematographyChester A. Lyons
Thomas H. Ince Corporation
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 5, 1918 (1918-05-05)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Playing the Game is a 1918 American silent comedy drama film directed by Victor Schertzinger and written by Julien Josephson and R. Cecil Smith. The film stars Charles Ray, Doris May, Harry L. Rattenberry, Robert McKim, William Elmer, and Leota Lorraine. The film was released on May 5, 1918, by Paramount Pictures.[1][2] It is not known whether the film currently survives,[3] and it may be a lost film.[4]


As described in a film magazine,[5] believing that killed a professional dancer in a cafe brawl, Larry Prentiss (Ray) along with his valet Hodges (Elmer) flee to the west to where he owns a ranch. The two are waylaid, robbed of their clothes, and set adrift. In this condition they are picked up by the foreman of Larry's ranch, Flash Purdy (McKim). Larry, wanting to make good on his merits, refuses to make known his identity. Hardships follow in which Larry incurs the enmity of Flash Purdy. Larry later saves the ranch payroll during a running gun fight and in the midst of a hand-to-hand struggle learns that Moya Shannon (May), daughter of the ranch manager, loves him. In the days that follow he squares his account with Purdy, but his adventure comes to a close when his identity becomes known after he receives a telegram from his uncle.



Like many American films of the time, Playing the Game was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors cut, in Reel 5, the closeup of foreman holding gun against Mexican's heart.[6]


  1. ^ "Playing the Game (1918) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Playing the Game". AFI. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: Playing the Game at
  4. ^ The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:..Playing the Game
  5. ^ "Reviews: Playing the Game". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 6 (21): 28. May 18, 1918.
  6. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. 6 (20): 31. May 11, 1918.

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Playing the Game
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