~Sally Of The Sawdust~
1925
~Plot Synopsis~
Pioneering filmmaker D.W. Griffith directed W.C. Fields in his first starring role in this silent
comedy. When Mary Foster runs away from home to marry her sweetheart, a circus performer, she
does so against the wishes of her socially prominent parents (Erville Alderson and Effie Shannon),
who make no secret of their anger and disappointment. Mary begins travelling with her husband,
and she makes friends with Prof. Eustace McGargle (W.C. Fields), a crusty but good-hearted
cardsharp working with the carnival. When both Mary and her husband die, their daughter Sally is
left in McGargle's care. Sally grows to adulthood (now played by Carol Dempster) and becomes a
dancer with the circus; while McGargle has grown quite fond of the child, he wonders if she might
not be better off with her grandparents, who can better provide for her and give her a stable home,
though he's kept their identity a secret from her. While performing in the town of Green Meadows,
Sally catches the eye of the wealthy and charming Payton Lennox (Alfred Lunt), but Sally must
overcome the prejudices of Payton's parents, who do not consider a showgirl to be fit company for
their son. However, a sympathetic local woman hires Sally to dance at an upcoming society recital
-- not knowing that Sally is, in fact, her granddaughter. Sally of the Sawdust was based on a play
that Fields had starred in on Broadway; he also starred in a sound remake entitled Poppy.


Plot Synopsis by Mark Deming, AllMovie.com
Directed by: D.W. Griffith

Written by:
Dorothy Donnelly - play "Poppy"
Forrest Halsey - writer
~Cast~

Carol Dempster ...  Sally
W.C. Fields ...  Professor Eustance McGargle
Alfred Lunt ...  Peyton Lennox
Erville Alderson ...  Judge Henry L. Foster
Effie Shannon ...  Mrs. Foster
Charles Hammond ...  Lennox, Sr.
Roy Applegate ...  Detective
Florence Fair ...  Miss Vinton
Marie Shotwell ...  Society Lady
Glenn Anders ...  Leon, the Acrobat
William 'Shorty' Blanche ...  Stooge (uncredited)
Harrison Ford ...  (uncredited)
James Kirkwood ...  (uncredited)
Tammany Young ...  Yokel in the old army game (uncredited)
.
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Paramount Pictures

Distribution Company: United Artists

Produced by: D.W. Griffith
Music by: Louis Silvers
Cinematography by: Harry Fischbeck & Harold S. Sintzenich        
Film Editing by: James Smith
Art Direction by: Charles M. Kirk
Assistant Directors: Erville Alderson  & Frank Walsh
Carpenter: Frank Nelson
Gaffer: Ed Flaherty

Length: 10 Reels
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Released: August 2, 1925
Filmed on Location in Long Island, New York, USA