Judge Foster throws his daughter out because she married a circus man. She leaves her baby girl with Prof. McGargle before she dies. Years later Sally is a dancer with whom Peyton, a son of... See full summary »
Judge Foster throws his daughter out because she married a circus man. She leaves her baby girl with Prof. McGargle before she dies. Years later Sally is a dancer with whom Peyton, a son of Judge Foster's friend, falls in love. When Sally is arrested McGargle proves her real parentage. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From a modern prospective, this is a most underwhelming film. Carol Dempster (as Sally) would seem, athleticism being one of her strengths, to be a natural choice to play a circus performer; she is, however, mostly unremarkable. W.C. Fields (as Professor McGargle) is more graceful; however, without his distinctive voice, he is somewhat disappointing. And, Alfred Lunt (as Peyton Lennox), known for his brilliant stage presence, is difficult to appreciate. Of the three, Mr. Fields is the most watchable.
The breathtaking beauty of earlier D.W. Griffith-directed films is noticeably absent. While some of the shots are lovely, nothing equals the artfulness evident throughout many past Griffith efforts. "Sally of the Sawdust" is beautifully preserved (if only all Griffith prints were as well preserved); and, it is an enjoyable comedy (certainly more so in 1925). It was adapted from Dorothy Donnelly's popular play "Poppy" (1923), with Madge Kennedy and W.C. Fields. It was re-filmed as "Poppy" (1936), with Rochelle Hudson and W.C. Fields. Norma Talmadge's popular film was an altogether different "Poppy" (1917), and did not co-star W.C. Fields.
***** Sally of the Sawdust (8/2/25) D.W. Griffith ~ Carol Dempster, W.C. Fields, Alfred Lunt
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