IMDb > The Saphead (1920)
The Saphead
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Saphead (1920) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos
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.

Overview

User Rating:
6.2/10   1,013 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Bronson Howard (original play "The Henrietta")
Victor Mapes (play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Saphead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1920 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The simple-minded son of a rich financier must find his own way in the world. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(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:
A strange choice for Keaton's feature debut See more (16 total) »

Cast

  (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:
Runtime:
77 min
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A rare Buster Keaton smile is visible in the scene in which Bertie reads the newspaper account on the raid of the gambling house.See more »
Goofs:
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 »
Quotes:
Bertie:All they do here is knock off hats, but I enjoy it. It occupies the mind.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A strange choice for Keaton's feature debut, 29 January 2012
Author: MissSimonetta from United States

Something like The Saphead isn't what you would expect to be Buster Keaton's feature film debut. The whole thing seems too ordinary, too stagey and melodramatic to be so. This is due to the fact that The Saphead was not a Keaton-helmed project; he was suggested for the role of the rich young man Bertie by Douglas Fairbanks, who had previously played the role on Broadway.

Bertie is the first of the spoiled, clueless young man types that Keaton would later return to in The Navigator and Battling Butler. He seeks to impress a sweet young woman named Agnes by coming across as a bad boy, gambling well into the morning hours and having breakfast in the afternoon. His father confronts him about this behavior and has him cut off until he can find a job. Bertie seeks out to do just that, in the meantime winning the hand of his girl-- well, almost. During the ceremony, his sister's slimy husband Mark receives letters from his recently deceased mistress Henrietta, asking him to take care of their illegitimate child. His secret about to be revealed, he presses the letters on Bertie, breaking Agnes' heart and bringing the union to an abrupt end. Fortunately, things manage to pick back up after Bertie unwittingly saves the family stock business.

While there are a few Keaton-esque moments every now and then, for the most part The Saphead is just a typical stage to film adaptation of the period. Unlike the films Keaton would later star in and direct, this picture lacks spontaneity and laughs. The action on screen never comes alive until the climax, when Keaton finally gets to jump and be thrown around as he dashes through the trading floor and saves the day. The entire movie isn't a bore, however, and there are a few humorous inter-titles and gags, but it's just doesn't have a story that seems to suit the particular talents of its main star.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (16 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Saphead (1920)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
A wonderful moment Chrissie
He runs so gracefully... Chrissie
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Special Agent K-7 The Nanny Diaries Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Dodsworth Trading Places
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Comedy section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.