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...
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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>
Chaplin-esquire comedy/melodrama directed by D. W. Griffith starring Carol Dempster as a plucky orphan raised on the road by a sideshow hustler (W. C. Fields) without knowing she is the granddaughter of a rich New England family. The only real attraction of this film is the chance to see a young, fit W. C. Fields in the early version of his likable-hustler persona. There are some cool juggling scenes, and some big-circus scenes that are nice but not worth going out of your way for.
Everything else is a couple beats off. Griffith's strength is in melodrama and social commentary, but here he bogs down in a bad version of of slapstick, forcing Fields to imitate Chaplin in a way that detracts from our enjoyment of Fields being Fields.
Griffith also cast his generally untalented girlfriend-at-the-time Carol Dempster in a role she was not equal to. She needs to carry the whole film and can't. With Fields we miss too much by not hearing his voice.
Then there's the length which should be shorter by a good twenty minutes given the reliance on slapstick and the simplicity of the plot. So for Griffith you're better off with his earlier work, and with Fields you want his later work, and for mid-20's slapstick you want to stick to Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Charley Chase and Harry Langdon.
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