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The Saphead (1920)

 -  Comedy  -  September 1920 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 945 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 17 critic

The simple-minded son of a rich financier must find his own way in the world.

Writers:

(original play "The Henrietta"), (play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Saphead (1920)

The Saphead (1920) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward Jobson ...
Reverend Murray Hilton
Beulah Booker ...
Agnes Gates
Edward Connelly ...
Mr. Musgrave
Edward Alexander ...
Watson Flint
Irving Cummings ...
Mark Turner
Odette Taylor ...
Mrs. Cornelia Opdyke
Carol Holloway ...
Rose Turner
Jack Livingston ...
Dr. George Wainright
William H. Crane ...
Nicholas Van Alstyne
...
Bertie Van Alstyne
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Storyline

Nick Van Alstyne owns the Henrietta silver mine and is very rich. His son Bertie is naive and spoiled. His daughter Rose is married to shady investor Mark. Mark wrecks Bertie's wedding plans by making him take the blame for Mark's illegitimate daughter. Mark also nearly ruins the family business by selling off Henrietta stock at too low a price. Bertie, of all people, must come to the rescue on the trading floor. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

September 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mamlasz  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bronson Howard's play, "The Henrietta," opened in New York on 26 September 1887; a revised play, "The New Henrietta," by Winchell Smith and Victor Mapes opened there on 22 December 1913 and closed in February 1914 after 48 performances. The opening night cast of the latter play included Douglas Fairbanks as Bertie, Zeffie Tilbury as Hattie and Arthur Stuart Hull as Dr. Wainwright. See more »

Goofs

When Bertie's car pulls up to the house after the aborted wedding, the front gate is closed, but when he gets out of the car it is wide open. See more »

Quotes

Bertie: I'm good. I've tried my best to get over it - but I can't - and I still kneel down and say my prayers every morning - before I go to bed.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Mollycoddle (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Keaton Wasted
2 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

This isn't a Buster Keaton film; it's merely a film starring Keaton. Having Keaton star in this feature-length, supposedly more-serious film (as opposed to the short comedies Keaton himself made) was a shrewd business move by Joseph Schenck, to boost Keaton's popularity for his upcoming projects, especially among the critics. It's an ironic twist that today "The Saphead" is only as widely circulated as it is because of its association to Keaton. Keaton was one of the greatest screen comedians and, at times, was an innovative filmmaker. Sapheads, however, made this film.

The light melodrama is worthless, and I think the comedy isn't funny. To have Keaton only act as a good-natured idiot is to limit and waste his talents. The film itself is a filmed play, with yappy intertitles and an awkward mix of melodrama and comedy, none of which works. Keaton understood comedy--the gags, timing and momentum. Watch Keaton's best films (even his lesser ones) and you can see the huge difference between them and this--how and why they are funny and this isn't. Keaton also knew that cinema isn't theatre, that intertitles should be used economically in silent film, and he knew how to parody melodrama to mix cohesively within a comedy. "The Saphead" can be, at least, instructive in demonstrating how good Keaton's films are.

(Note: Some scenes are slightly damaged.)


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