The Saphead

Film, Comedy
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Buster Keaton's first feature, though charming and lightly amusing, is something of a disappointment. Having picked up on his talent after the Fatty Arbuckle shorts, MGM clearly had no idea what to do with it, and settled for an old warhorse of a play (The New Henrietta by Winchell Smith and Victor Mapes) which had already served as a vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks. Playing the dim, pampered son of The Wolf of Wall Street, Keaton dumbfounds everyone by making an unexpected killing on the stock market, thereby winning the girl of his dreams. The character closely foreshadows Keaton's later persona, but is wedged in throughout by acres of creaky, conventional plotting, which only once opens out - a splendid scene of upheaval on the stock market floor - to allow him to do his own acrobatic thing.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 81 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Herbert Blaché
Screenwriter: June Mathis
Cast: Buster Keaton
William H Crane
Irving Cummings
Carol Holloway
Beulah Booker
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