6.2/10
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20 user 17 critic

The Saphead (1920)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 20 September 1920 (USA)
The simple-minded son of a rich financier must find his own way in the world.

Writers:

Bronson Howard (original play "The Henrietta"), Victor Mapes (play) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward Jobson Edward Jobson ... Reverend Murray Hilton
Beulah Booker Beulah Booker ... Agnes Gates
Edward Connelly ... Mr. Musgrave
Edward Alexander Edward Alexander ... Watson Flint
Irving Cummings ... Mark Turner
Odette Tyler Odette Tyler ... Mrs. Cornelia Opdyke
Carol Holloway ... Rose Turner
Jack Livingston ... Dr. George Wainright
William H. Crane ... Nicholas Van Alstyne
Buster Keaton ... 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

20 September 1920 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A mamlasz See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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: All they do here is knock off hats, but I enjoy it. It occupies the mind.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995, Film Preservation Associates copyrighted a version with an orchestral score; no details were specified on the print. See more »

Connections

Featured in Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Unexpected Keaton
21 January 2002 | by Damfino1895See all my reviews

The problem with this film is that it not a slapstick comedy and was never intended to be one, so if you are going to watch it forget about Buster Keaton, the comedian and look at Buster Keaton, the actor. Keaton is a revelation in this film, his performance is restrained and excellent proving that he was an actor as well as a comedian, a fact that makes his middle years even more sadder, truly a talent wasted by the studio system of the 30's. I'd like to add that Keaton had no problems adjusting to talkies, as commonly assumed, he had a fine speaking voice and could deliver a comic line perfectly, the problem lay with him losing control of his productions and being given poor quality material to work with, he never lost his talent as widely believed. All the performances in this little gem of a movie are first class especially Irving Cummings and William H Crane as well as Keaton's. This is a nice way to spend an hour, but, the final twenty minutes are the best as it is plain to see Keaton's contribution in the scenes in the Stock Exchange as Bertie runs around manically saying "I take it", but, not really knowing why. For many people, their only experience of silent movies is slapstick comedy, so I would say broaden your horizons and start with this one.


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