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 »
Joan Royle, beautiful but naive model who came from the slums, falls for Fred Ketlar, the leader of a dance band. When Fred's estranged wife Adele is murdered, Fred is arrested and ... See full summary »
Fields wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. He becomes his niece's guardian when... See full summary »
Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his ... See full summary »
Tillie and Augustus Winterbottom are thought to be missionaries when they arrive to find Phineas Pratt trying cheat the Sheridans out of her father's inheritance, including a ferry ... See full summary »
Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "... See full summary »
A family of Polish refugees tries to survive in post-World War I Germany. For a while it seems that they are making it, but soon the economic and political deterioration in the country begins to take their toll.
Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »
Gum-chewing frizzy-haired gold-digger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly, middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie ... 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>
Employing his juggling expertise and visible nuances he carried into his sound pictures one can almost hear W.C. Fields voice as you read his title cards in Sally of the Sawdust. Younger, thinner and with less dissipation about him Fields plays of all things a doting parent to Sally (Carol Dempster) an orphan with a traveling circus.
Before Sally is born her well bred and off mother decides to run off with a show person against parents wishes and is disowned. With the father dead and the mother dying Poppy (Fields) agrees to return the child to her parents but then he decides to raise her himself. Together they tour and perform into her adulthood when the day of reckoning approaches, further complicated by Sally's romance with a swell and member of her grandparents polite society who disdain show people.
Directed by D.W. Griffith in the latter half of his career, Sally has a dated look for a 25 silent with many scenes hearkening back to his halcyon period a decade earlier as his famous montage style looks more like a Mack Sennett Keystone short in spots. Once again he focuses on societal hypocrisy and intolerance but it comes across hackneyed. Silent film had moved into its golden era and Griffith remained inert while Vidor, DeMille and Ingram were taking form and content to another level.
Fields is both funny and touching as he protects Sally and tries to make a living in a variety of dubious enterprises. Dempster is remarkably agile as she takes her licks in more than one scene as well as have a chameleon like look that goes from homely tomboy to deco sleek vamp. It is the energy and talent of both that carry Sally as they leave D.W. anachronistic style in the dust.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this