Feb 19 2013

Film: W.C Fields Driving On the Long Island Motor Parkway in “Sally of the Sawdust”

John has forwarded this D.W. Griffith film "Sally of the Sawdust". Starring Carol Dempster, W.C. Fields, and Alfred Lunt, the film was shot in Bayside, Greenwich an on the "Motor Parkway" in 1925. The Motor Parkway segments, likely in Queens and Lake Success can be seen at the 1 hour -39 minute-30 second mark and 1 hour-42 minute-35 second mark. Note: This YouTube film is only availabe for viewing on PCs.


1925 News Report on "Sally of the Sawdust"

Choosing the greatest picture obtainable for launching simultaneously Greater Movie Season and the opening of the new St. Francis Theater, Market Street,opposite Mason, formerly the Strand, SanFrancisco, D. W. Griffith's latest and by far his greatest triumph has won the coveted place to represent these two events.

Griffith has completed his new picture, and his last for United Artists Corporation, "Sally of the Sawdust," which features Carol Dempster, W. C. Fields,Broadway funny man, and Alfred Lunt,in the leading roles.

Mr. Griffith is now cutting and editing the picture, which was adapted to the screen by Forrest Halsey from the musical comedy "Poppy" in which Madge Kennedy and Mr. Fields played a year in New York.

The interiors were made at the Paramount Long Island studio, and include, among other imposing sets, a huge circus and carnival scene for which one whole stage was set aside. The exteriors were filmed at Greenwich, Conn., and along the Motor Parkway, and in various towns and villages on Long Island.

In the supporting cast are a number of leading stage players. Glenn Andres of "They Knew What They Wanted," played the chief heavy role; Alfred Lunt, playing the title part in "The Guardsman," has the main juvenile role; and others prominent on the stage were Effie Shannon, Florence Fair, Charles Hammond. Dorothy Bicknell, and Marie Shotwell. Erville Alderson, who acted in the capacity of Mr. Griffith's assistant, also played one of the important roles. Mr. Alderson has been seen in other Griffith picture, notably, "America," and "Isn't Life Wonderful." "Sally of the Sawdust" will be generally released early this fall through United Artists Corporation.

Note the concrete posts in the background.

Two cars side-by-side on the 16-foot parkway.

Crossing a trestle bridge like the Motor Parkway bridges seen in Queens in 1925.

W.C. Fields again on the Motor Parkway.

Based on the curve in the background and the trestle bridge, I believe this location is most likely the Lakeville Road Motor Parkway Bridge in Lake Success.

Thanks John!


Howard Kroplick


Feb 20 2013 Andrew S. Hartwell 7:53 AM

Wonderful footage!  Thanks for posting!

Feb 20 2013 brian d mccarthy 5:42 PM

That was neat.

Feb 20 2013 Ted 6:36 PM

Watching the film and seeing how the car was bouncing around,then flipped shows you that these cars aren’t for sure made for conditions like that,especially going fast like he was. Thanks for the film. I enjoyed that chase.

Feb 24 2013 Art K. 10:12 AM

Thanks for posting.  Very enjoyable.

Feb 26 2013 Lou 5:07 PM

Another great connection to the Motor Parkway…..Look at all of that rural splendor around it…. Thanks John for sending this to Howard….

Dec 04 2014 frank femenias 5:48 PM

I keep revisiting this page for the real feel of the parkway that photos can’t produce.

Howard, are there any other films or home movies out there of the parkway in action? That would be neat. Thanks for posting.

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