Sawdust (1923)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama  |  
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This routine circus drama was a typical rags-to-riches vehicle for minor Universal Studios star Gladys Walton. Nita Moore (Walton) travels around the country with her parents, who are circus performers. After their death, Nita finds herself at the mercy of the circus' vicious ring master, Pop Gifford (Frank Brownlee). To help her escape, gambler Runner Bayne (Matthew Betz) convinces an old couple, Colonel and Mrs. Wentworth (Herbert Standing and Edith Yorke), that Nita is their long-lost daughter. The Wentworths gladly welcome Nita home. All is going well until family lawyer Phillip Lessoway (Niles Welch) discovers that Nita is an impostor, and was just an orphaned circus girl. He accuses her of fraud, and Nita, who can't bear to return to the circus, decides to commit suicide. Lessoway saves her from killing herself and they fall in love. The understanding Colonel has come to love Nita like a daughter, and he gives the couple his blessing.

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Keywords

circus-performer, con/scam, damsel-in-distress, love, marriage, ringmaster, romance, stepfather, suicide