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Sally of the Sawdust

Sally of the Sawdust (1925)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 140

My Rating

Movie Info

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


Classics, Comedy

Dorothy Donnelly, Forrest Halsey

Jan 12, 1999

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

Just about the most amusing comedy that you will recall this year.

August 19, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

D.W. Griffith is down to common picture making in this one.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

January 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

April 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

August 19, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Griffith uses the climactic chase to teach editing to Eisenstein in the year of Potemkin

April 1, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

... the pic that propelled W.C. Fields's movie career and was a rare comedy directed by the austere Griffith... .

November 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Beyond being a Fields vehicle, it's a showcase for Griffith's direction, using of beautifully pastoral location shooting that gives Sally an almost-luminous glow.

May 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Sally of the Sawdust

A fantastic, heartfelt, and funny dramatic film with a great cast and a somewhat simple, yet very exciting emotional story. I really liked it. It has that suspense of the audience knowing that this girl really belongs to a rich family but this guy is pretending to be her father to keep her in the circus business. You're not sure to have sympathy for him or not throughout, but the ending is very good. I recommend this movie.
January 28, 2012

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  • Sally of the Sawdust (1925) (UK)
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