Sally of the Sawdust
From a 35mm Archive Print
In a fascinating departure from the austere moral drama in which he specialized, D.W. Griffith demonstrates his talent for warm-hearted comedy with SALLY OF THE SAWDUST.
Fresh from the Ziegfeld Follies, W.C. Fields made his second screen appearance as Professor Eustace McGargle, a lovably disreputable confidence man who becomes the unlikely guardian of an orphaned circus waif (Carol Dempster). Intending to return Sally to her grandparents, McGargle learns that her wealthy and esteemed grandfather (Erville Alderson) is a stern judge who harbors a deep contempt for shysters and show people. Faster than a sucker can say “three-card monte,” McGargle finds himself wanted by the police and chased by bootleggers, while trying to protect his cherished Sally, who has won the affection of a slumming socialite (Alfred Lunt).
SALLY provided Griffith ingenue Carol Dempster (whose work for the director is generally overshadowed by that of her predecessors, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish) with a delightful role: the spry, innocent and hot-tempered dancing girl wholly devoted to her criminal “Poppy.” At the same time, it showcases the comic juggling and dry wit that would make a legend of W.C. Fields (who remade the film in 1936 under the title of the original play, “Poppy.”)
US 1925 B&W 113 Min.
Produced and directed by D.W. Griffith
Screenplay by Forrest Halsey
>From the play “Poppy” by Dorothy Donnelly
Photographed by Harry Fischbeck
With W.C. Fields, Carol Dempster, Alfred Lunt
Music composed and performed
by Donald Sosin
Series produced for video by Bret Wood
Special contents of this edition © 2008 Kino International Corp.
Music P Donald Sosin www.newmoviemusic.com