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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Saphead (1920)



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Buster Keaton's first feature film, The Saphead, was actually a remake of the Douglas Fairbanks film, The Lamb, and it was Fairbanks that suggested Keaton for the role. The Saphead set the standard early on for the type of character that Keaton would play through so many future works -- inventive stone-faced victim of outrageous circumstances. The film does not, however, contain an abundance of Keaton-style comedy. It's more of a "straight" comedy, much tamer than Keaton's short films and later features. There are a few laughs, but it's Keaton's persona that wins the audience.

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