Buster Keaton in The Saphead 1920 000 

   Buster Keaton shows some wear and tear after working on the floor of the exchange

Directed by               Herbert Blaché
Produced by             Metro Pictures Corporation
Scenario by               June Mathis        
Based on                    The Henrietta by Bronson Howard, The New Henrietta by Winchell Smith and Victor Mapes
Starring                     Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron, Tom McGuire, Tom Lewis
Cinematography       Harold Wenstrom
Distributed by           Metro Pictures Corporation
Release date               October 18, 1920
Running time             74 min.
Country                      United States
Language                    Silent film, English intertitles

"The Saphead" is part of our series "Other Favorite Films".  This category includes films that do not feature a particular star from our site, but which in our view represent a major contribution of a silent movie to Arts and Culture.   

"The Saphead" is a comedy starring Buster Keaton. This was his first starring role in a full-length feature film. Buster Keaton is said to have been recommended for the role by Douglas Fairbanks, who had played the character on stage. "The Saphead" was a stepping stone on Buster Keaton's way to stardom. Even before this film was released he had launched his independent movie-making. By the end of 1920 Buster Keaton created, directed and starred in four brilliant masterpieces - "One Week", "Convict 13", "The Scarecrow" and "Neighbors". Later he released "The High Sign" (1921), which was made even earlier.

To enjoy fully "The Saphead" and avoid disappointment the viewers should know that the typical Buster Keaton that we know appears in the last 15 minutes of the film, when we can see him as the master of physical comedy in a series of amazing stunts.


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Buster Keaton and Beulah Booker in The Saphead 1920 11

   Buster Keaton sports a rare smile talking to Beulah Booker