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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A love-struck weakling must pretend to be boxer in order to gain respect from the family of the girl he loves.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Snitz Edwards, Sally O'Neil
Go West (1925)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

With little luck at keeping a job in the city a New Yorker tries work in the country and eventually finds his way leading a herd of cattle to the West Coast.

Director: Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Howard Truesdale, Kathleen Myers
College (1927)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.

Directors: James W. Horne, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall, Flora Bramley
Three Ages (1923)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The misadventures of Buster in three separate historical periods.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Margaret Leahy, Wallace Beery
Convict 13 (1920)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young golfer is mugged by an escaped convict and finds himself in a prison where he foils a jailbreak.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Hard Luck (1921)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Strange things ensue after a young man attempts to take his own life.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being mistakenly certified as an electrical engineer, Buster is hired to wire a house.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Keaton
Comedy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Buster plays a bumbling villain in this parody of melodrama.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Sybil Seely
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A bank clerk ends up in a seemingly haunted house that is actually a thieves' hideout.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Virginia Fox, Joe Roberts
The Love Nest (1923)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In an attempt to forget his lost sweetheart, Buster takes a long trip at sea where he boards a whaling ship with a strict captain.

Directors: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline
Stars: Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Virginia Fox
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A hapless amusement park attendant finds his run away balloon ride has left him in a strange predicament.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
Stars: Buster Keaton, Phyllis Haver, Babe London
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward Jobson ...
Beulah Booker ...
Agnes Gates
...
Mr. Musgrave
Edward Alexander ...
Watson Flint
...
Mark Turner
Odette Taylor ...
Mrs. Cornelia Opdyke
Carol Holloway ...
Rose Turner
...
Dr. George Wainright
...
Nicholas Van Alstyne
...
Bertie Van Alstyne
Edit

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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the few Buster Keaton films in which a hand double is used in a close-up shot to avoid showing that Keaton was missing his right index fingertip. 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

Referenced in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Pretty Good Overall; The Last Part is Excellent
26 July 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

While it is certainly not up to the standard of the later films that Keaton would direct and/or write himself, "The Saphead" is still a nice little film, and the last part is excellent, a sign of things to come. It would be worth watching for the last 20 minutes alone, and the first part is not bad either, just old-fashioned and sometimes a bit slow.

Keaton plays Bertie, the timid son of a rich businessman. Most of the film involves the business and romantic difficulties of Bertie, his sister, and his brother-in-law. It's slow at times, with some melodrama and a fair amount of mild humor but not a lot of really funny material. It's a decent story of the kind common to silent films, is usually pleasant to watch, and is important as the prelude and setup to the climax. In the last part of the film, Bertie joins the stock exchange, and all the story lines come together in a creative and very entertaining sequence that finally gives Keaton a chance to display his great variety of comic skills.

If you enjoy Keaton's other films, this one is not up to their level, but it is still worth watching.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A wonderful moment Chrissie
He runs so gracefully... Chrissie
Discuss The Saphead (1920) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?