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Sally of the Sawdust Photos

Movie Info

When her circus mother dies after being disowned, young Sally (Carol Dempster) is raised by Professor Eustace McGargle (W.C. Fields), a juggler and small-time con man. McGargle trains Sally to dance for his opening act, and the pair joins a carnival based in Green Meadow, Conn. Sally's grandparents, the Fosters, still live in the area, but neither the young girl nor stern Judge Foster (Erville Alderson) and his wife (Effie Shannon) know they are related.

Cast & Crew

W.C. Fields
Professor Eustance McGargle
Alfred Lunt
Peyton Lennox
Erville Alderson
Judge Henry L. Foster
Effie Shannon
Mrs. Foster
Florence Fair
Miss Vinton
Marie Shotwell
Society Lady
Glenn Anders
Leon, the Acrobat
Harry Fischbeck
Cinematographer
James Smith
Film Editor
Charles M. Kirk
Art Direction
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Critic Reviews for Sally of the Sawdust

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (2)

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

    August 19, 2013 | Full Review…
  • D.W. Griffith is down to common picture making in this one.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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
  • Griffith again lays on the mother-sentiment too thickly in places. But, all in all, Sally of the Sawdust is good entertainment.

    May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sally of the Sawdust

  • Jan 28, 2012
    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.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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