Sally of the Sawdust | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 91 minutes · 1925

Adapted from the Broadway play Poppy, this 1925 silent comedy gave W.C. Fields his first big movie role, under the direction of no less than D.W. Griffith, and it's fascinating to see how much of the Fields persona was communicated physically. As Professor Eustace McGargle, a juggler and con man, he adopts an orphaned child and watches her grow into a goofy beauty (Carol Dempster); after their circus company rolls into a Connecticut town, they draw the ire of a wealthy judge who doesn't realize the young woman is his long-lost granddaughter. 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.
Director: D.W. Griffith
Writer: Dorothy Donnelly and Forrest Halsey
Producer: D.W. Griffith
Cast: Carol Dempster, W.C. Fields, Alfred Lunt, Erville Alderson, Effie Shannon, Charles Hammond, Roy Applegate, Florence Fair, Marie Shotwell, Glenn Anders and Tammany Young

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