6.2/10
1,142
18 user 17 critic

The Saphead (1920)

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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1 nomination. See more awards »
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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
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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:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

September 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mamlasz  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buster Keaton was recommended for the role by Douglas Fairbanks, who had created the role on Broadway and turned down the chance to play it again in the film. 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 »

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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.


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