Sally of the Sawdust (1925)
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 137
Pioneering filmmaker D.W. Griffith directed W.C. Fields in his first starring role in this silent comedy. When Mary Foster runs away from home to marry her sweetheart, a circus performer, she does so against the wishes of her socially prominent parents (Erville Alderson and Effie Shannon), who make no secret of their anger and disappointment. Mary begins travelling with her husband, and she makes friends with Prof. Eustace McGargle (W.C. Fields), a crusty but good-hearted cardsharp working with
Aug 2, 1925 Wide
Jan 12, 1999
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Its interest would be no more than historical were it not also the movie that launched WC Fields. His show-stopping performance as Eustace McGargle, conman and sideshow juggler, contains the seeds of all his later glories.
Griffith stresses the story's melodrama, making Fields an unusually sentimental figure, though the star still manages to showcase some of his juggling routines and even kick a dog.
Sally is minor Griffith, but it demonstrates that, whatever the ostensible genre, he remained (and, pace Steven Spielberg, remains) the master manipulator of human emotion.
Sally of the Sawdust is a victim of the same sloppy editing (by the same sloppy editor) that had marred Griffith's Way Down East five years earlier.
Griffith uses the climactic chase to teach editing to Eisenstein in the year of Potemkin
... the pic that propelled W.C. Fields's movie career and was a rare comedy directed by the austere Griffith... .
Audience Reviews for Sally of the Sawdust
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