saphead n : a person who lacks good judgment
The Saphead is a 1920
. It was the actor's first starring role in a full-length
feature and the film that launched his career.
The plot was a merging of two stories, Bronson
Howard's play "The Henrietta" and the novel "The New Henrietta" by
Victor Mapes and Winchell Smith, which was meant to be an adaption
of Howard's play.
- Beulah Booker - Agnes Gates
Connelly - Musgrave
- Edward Jobson - Rev. Murray Hilton
- Edward Alexander - Watson Flint
- Odette Taylor - Mrs. Cornelia Opdyke
Holloway - Rose Turner
Cummings - Mark Turner
- Jack Livingston - Dr. George Wainright
- William H. Crane - Nicholas Van Alstyne
Keaton - Bertie 'The Lamb' Van Alstyne
- Katherine Albert - Hattie (uncredited)
- Henry Clauss - Valet (uncredited)
- Alfred Hollingsworth - Hathaway (uncredited)
- Helen Holte - Henrietta Reynolds (uncredited)
- Jeffrey Williams - Hutchins (uncredited)
Plot SummaryNicholas Van Alstyne is the richest man in New
York, but he is very disappointed in the behavior of his son,
Bertie, who stays out all night gambling and partying, and who
seems to show no talent or interest in work. In fact, Bertie is
feigning this behavior because he believes it will help to impress
the girl of his dreams, his adopted sister Agnes. Unfortunately, it
helps him to do nothing more than get disowned by his father.
Bertie's sister, Rose, is married to an unsuccessful lawyer named
Mark, who is admired by Van Alstyne but in fact is a troublemaker.
He has a mistress named Henrietta and an illegitimate child with
her. When Henrietta dies after a long illness, a letter is sent to
him informing him about the present circumstances. Mark manages to
claim the letter is actually Bertie's, breaking Agnes' heart and
ensuring Van Alstyne never wants to speak to his son again. Soon
after, when Van Alstyne goes away on business he leaves Mark in
charge of running the family's finances, but Mark plots to claim
the family fortunes himself by selling off all their shares of
stock. Bertie inadvertently saves the day by buying back all of the
stock without realizing what he is doing. When Van Alstyne sees
what has happened he forgives Bertie and allows him to marry Agnes.
Mark, meanwhile, conveniently dies of a heart attack when he
realizes that his scheme has failed. The film ends a year later,
with the birth of Bertie and Agnes' twin children.