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The Saphead
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The Saphead (1920) More at IMDbPro »

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The Saphead -- THE SAPHEAD was instrumental in establishing Keaton as a bona fide star and greatly influenced his formulation of the Buster persona: a lonely, stone-faced soul thwarted by circumstance yet undauntedly resourceful and indefatigable in his struggle for love and survival within a chaotic world.


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Bronson Howard (original play "The Henrietta")
Victor Mapes (play)
View company contact information for The Saphead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1920 (USA) See more »
The simple-minded son of a rich financier must find his own way in the world. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(2 articles)
Buster Keaton on Blu-ray: The Saphead Review
 (From Twitch. 30 July 2012, 9:33 PM, PDT)

New DVD Blu-Ray: 'American Reunion,' 'Chariots of Fire'
 (From Moviefone. 9 July 2012, 9:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Not Up to Par with Other Keaton Films See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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

Buster Keaton ... Bertie Van Alstyne
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katherine Albert ... Hattie (uncredited)
Henry Clauss ... Valet (uncredited)
Alfred Hollingsworth ... Hathaway (uncredited)
Helen Holte ... Henrietta Reynolds (uncredited)
Jeffrey Williams ... Hutchins (uncredited)

Directed by
Herbert Blaché 
Winchell Smith 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bronson Howard  original play "The Henrietta"
Victor Mapes  play "The New Henrietta"
June Mathis  scenario
Winchell Smith  play "The New Henrietta"

Produced by
John Golden .... producer
Marcus Loew .... producer
Winchell Smith .... producer
Original Music by
Robert Israel (1995)
Cinematography by
Harold Wenstrom 
Art Direction by
F.H. Webster 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marcel De Sano .... assistant director
Music Department
Robert Israel .... musical director (1995 edition)
Other crew
Raymond Rohauer .... presenter (new version)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: 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 »
Bertie:Do all these seats cost 100,000 dollars?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Not Up to Par with Other Keaton Films, 12 August 2012
Author: silentmoviefan from United States

This film is not up to Buster Keaton's standards. The most interesting part of the film is the introduction, in which you see shadows of the stars in picture frames and then the shadows come to life and you see some of the stars of the movie. It's been said that this movie is a re-make of The Lamb (1915), but it isn't. The Lamb, which was Douglas Fairbanks' film debut, was much better. Fairbanks' character wasn't a wimp, like Keaton's character is in The Saphead. The only reason I don't give it a lower score is because of Keaton's presence in the movie, even though there is not much to like about his character. He's a wimp. So if you're looking for an example of his work, just about any of his other silent features or shorts that he stars in would be better than this.

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