The Saphead (1920) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Saphead (1920)

The Saphead (1920)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Saphead Photos

Movie Info

Nicholas Van Alstyne (William H. Crane) is the Wall Street tycoon worried about the future of his lazy son Bertie (Buster Keaton) in this comedy. Bertie is the idler who rallies on the floor of the stock market to save his father from financial disaster. Characters are introduced in silhouette where the expressionless Keaton is introduced as the vapid young socialite.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Metro Pictures

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Cast

Buster Keaton
as Bernie "The Lamb" Van Alstyne
William H. Crane
as Nicholas Van Alstyne
Irving Cummings
as Mark Turner
Carol Holloway
as Rose Turner
Beulah Booker
as Agnes Gates
Jack Livingston
as Dr. George Wainwright
Edward Alexander
as Watson Flint
Jeffrey Williams
as Hutchins
Edward Jobson
as Rev. Murray Hilton
Jack Livinston
as Dr. George Wainwright
Edward Connelly
as Musgrave
Odette Tyler
as Mrs. Cornelia Opdyke
Odette Tylor
as Mrs. Comelia Opdyke
Helen Holte
as Henrietta Reynolds
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Critic Reviews for The Saphead

All Critics (2)

The Saphead is more historically important than it is aesthetically or artistically important.

Full Review… | July 23, 2012
Combustible Celluloid

Slightly amusing.

Full Review… | October 26, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Saphead

½

"The Saphead" isn't a bad film, but it will frustrate Buster Keaton fans. Despite its farcical title, it barely even qualifies as a comedy. Ineffectual Bertie (Keaton, starring in his first feature) is a stock character -- the rich, pampered dandy who is pushed into the real world and must prove his mettle. And, of course, he's shy to tell a sweetheart that he loves her. Really, this seems like more of a Harold Lloyd vehicle. The other plot thread involves Mark (Irving Cummings), a struggling employee of Bertie's tycoon father who conspires to steal the family fortune via stock-market shenanigans. Much of the story hangs on a contrived coincidence that a valuable mine and Mark's mistress happen to share the same name (Henrietta). The script's complexity (particularly its financial element) tests the limits of silent film -- "The Saphead" is adapted from a play, and would have worked better as a talkie. Keaton had acted in numerous shorts by this time (often playing second fiddle to Fatty Arbuckle), but hadn't quite found his niche yet. He actually smiles in one scene (gasp) and has little chance for physical comedy until a climatic sequence on the stock-exchange floor. Any Keaton silent demands to be seen, but don't raise your expectations too high about this one.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

½

This is probably one of Keaton's worst movies.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

A very entertaining melodrama from Buster Keaton. He only acted in this and it barely has any slapstick, but he's still really good.

Matt Kendrick
Matt Kendrick

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