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The Sawmill

Where to Watch The Sawmill


The Sawmill, released in 1922, is a silent film comedy, known for its slapstick stylings, and starred a set of larger-than-life figures of the silent film era, including the likes of Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy, and Frank Alexander. The movie is a classic early American comedy and is particularly notable for animated special effects, which, by today's standards are quite rudimentary but were landmark achievements during the era of its production.

Larry Semon, acclaimed as a virtuoso writer, director, and actor, appears in the leading role of the hapless hero in The Sawmill. Noted for his trademark whiteface make-up and black suit, Semon was an established comedian who had begun his career penning gags for the legendary Ziegfeld Follies. Furthermore, his presence in the film brings forth a unique slapstick comedy style full of humorous stunts that the audience of his time found to be engaging and irresistible.

The actor renowned for his character 'Stan Laurel,' Oliver Hardy played the role of the foreman of the sawmill. Considering that this film predates the formation of the iconic comedy team 'Laurel and Hardy', his role in the film provides an interesting showcase of Hardy’s talent beyond his famed partnership. He does an admirable job in the role delivering a spirited performance considered commendable even in the days predating spoken dialogue.

Frank Alexander, another important figure in the silent era, adds more value to the film with his role. He was known for his burly physique and ability to play versatile characters ranging from villains to comic relief, which he uses to great effect in this movie.

The Sawmill is set in a remote lumber mill and is brimming with unique visuals and comically dangerous situations. The narrative follows a slightly harried but good-natured sawmill worker whose life is marred by complications, both professional and personal, mostly stemming from his overly demanding boss and a beautiful damsel's involvement who happens to be the boss’s daughter. This plot's basic setup paves the way for a rapid-fire series of comic escapades, making effective use of the sawmill setting's inherent peril and the unending existing contest between labor and management.

Produced by Vitagraph Studios and directed by Larry Semon himself, the film is a masterpiece in demonstrating human expressions conveying a narrative without the support of spoken words or sounds. The high-energy, almost frantic pace of the film is further augmented by a fantastic musical score, which is unflagging in its task to enhance the comedy's effectiveness.

The audience also gets to witness innovative special effects, especially exciting for its time, and are used to great effect, with various machinery and tools often become part of the comic misadventures. The film also utilizes exaggerated physical comedy, sight gags, and surprisingly complicated and dangerous stunts, which form a crucial part of its comedic essence.

Being a silent film, The Sawmill showcases excellent visual storytelling techniques and physical comedy that transcends language barriers, making it a universally enjoyable experience. The film's endearing charm stems from the ability of its actors to effectively use their facial expressions and body language to communicate their emotions, which adeptly conveys every nuance of the storyline to audiences everywhere.

In conclusion, The Sawmill is an essential artifact of the silent film era, showcasing the era's uniquely physical and visual style of comedy. It features a rich tapestry of entertaining personalities, dangerous stunts, and slapstick humour, all set in a bustling sawmill. It's a fantastic piece of heritage cinema that takes us back to the days when the language of cinema was in its most elemental form, and silent figures on the monochromatic screen could still make audiences laugh heartily.

The Sawmill is a Comedy, Romance, Action movie released in 1922. It has a runtime of 20. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.8..

How to Watch The Sawmill

Where can I stream The Sawmill movie online? The Sawmill is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Sawmill for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Larry Semon,Norman Taurog
Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy
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