Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Saphead


This was Buster Keaton’s first feature-length movie, and it’s important mainly because it was a hit, and cleared the way for his graduation from two-reelers into marquee billing. Other than that … huge Keaton fan that I am, I have to admit that this one is not very good. It was adapted from a novel and a play, and is hardly a comedy at all, except for some comic bits of business that look as if they were thrown in to give Buster something to do. He plays a rich twit (all wrong for Keaton!), and the plot has to do with the stock market. There are almost none of the madcap antics that are Keaton’s trademark. I’m so glad he got quickly back into comedy after this turkey.