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  • Warning: Spoilers
    HOMER COMES HOME (1920) stars Charles Ray as a boy with "big ideas" who is expelled from his hometown of Mainesville. When he resolves to use two year's of savings to return and impress them that he has become a success in the big city, their hypocrisy is evident, fawning over him. He does them a favor, collecting investments to convince his boss to open a factory in the town.

    Meanwhile, they had suspected him of a scam, and reported him to his boss; evidently, the small town will always be suspicious of one who has notions beyond its geography. This is heightened by the cupidity of the father of the girl he hopes to marry, who switches allegiance from one prospective son-in-law to another, only concerned that the marriage will cancel his own debts. As I outline in my biography of producer Thomas Ince, beyond the simplistic surface of Ince's Ray films, underlying tensions were apparent.
  • Charles Ray is a young man with a lot of ambition, and a lot of ideas that never quite work out. Having been fired from every job in his home town, he moves to New York. After a couple of years, he hears his boss, John Elliott, talking about why he cut his vacation short; he had gone to his own home town, and there was no one he knew. He advised the staff member he was chatting with to either return a lot sooner, or not at all. Ray braces him with an idea to put a new factory in his own town; he's willing to put up the $300 he's saved. Elliott replies that it's not a bad idea, but he wouldn't do it unless he has the entire amount in hand, and gives Ray a couple of weeks to visit home.

    Ray does so, and with a splash, spending his $300 freely, impressing everyone with his apparent success, earning a sincere "I knew you'd make good" from his old sweetheart Priscilla Bonner, and an insincere one from all the people who had discharged him.

    There are a couple of subplots, but it appears to be a typical Charles Ray movie of the period, with a good-sized cast and a situation that grows increasingly out of control. Ray alternates between being embarrassed and manic in the sort of vehicle he could have made forever, had he not shot himself in the head with THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH. His credited career ended in the middle of the 1930s, and a return to the screen in the 1940s was in uncredited bits. He died in 1943 at the age of 52.