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The Ghost Camera (1933)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Mystery  -  1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 172 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

When a photograph is taken at the scene of a murder, the camera is tossed out of a castle window to destroy the evidence and lands in the back of a passing car belonging to chemist John ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Henry Kendall ...
Victor Stanley ...
Albert Sims (as S. Victor Stanley)
George Merritt ...
Police Detective
Felix Aylmer ...
Davina Craig ...
Amelia Wilkinson, a maid
Fred Groves ...
Barnaby Rudd, landlord


When a photograph is taken at the scene of a murder, the camera is tossed out of a castle window to destroy the evidence and lands in the back of a passing car belonging to chemist John Gray who becomes amateur sleuth after developing the film and goes in search of the woman captured by the photograph. When the camera is stolen from his laboratory, Gray's suspicions are further aroused. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

photograph | camera | murder | See All (3) »




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Release Date:

1934 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Ida Lupino. See more »


Albert Sims: Hello! There's a woman turned up in it. Wonder what she'll look like?
John Gray: Oh... golden hair and large lustrous eyes. A ravishing creature, my dear Sims. The heroine of a mystery drama is always a ravishing creature.
See more »

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User Reviews

Lupino as actress and David Lean as editor in a surprisingly fun B-movie
22 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Ghost Camera (1933)

I had my hopes up for this movie for three reasons. First, it was pre-code (though only in American years--this is a British movie). That always adds hope. Second, it had a young Ida Lupino. Third, it was about photography, or at least hinted at it, and I'm a photographer. All of this is to say, I assumed the movie would be nothing much, and was watching just for kicks.

I was pleasantly surprised in several ways. It is a cute story with some simple twists that only go so far, but it is told really well--the camera-work and the editing are adventurous and loose and downright inventive. You can't miss it. The cameraman Ernest Palmer I've never heard of (and looking at his movies, there's nothing the jumps out there). But the editor? You won't believe it--none other than David Lean. Makes me want to watch it again. Lean was in fact an editor before becoming a star director.

"The Ghost Camera" is a thoroughly British movie, even though Palmer is American and in fact so is the director here, not the very British Lean but Bernard Vorhaus, who made his reputation in England. And the two leading characters are both British. Yes, Ida Lupino for all her hard luck urbane American reputation was born and raised in England. Here she's plays a common type well, a girl with a heart who's in a little trouble. The other lead, Harry Kendall, is a kind of British Harold Lloyd, and he takes some getting used to but in the end he's really rather funny and fun. He's famous at home for his work on stage, and was always dismissive of his movie career, but the movies are all we have now, so the irony of that must irk him in the grave.

The story? A classic idea not far off from Antonioni's "Blow Up"--a camera accidentally gets in the hands of a pair of goofy innocent types who develop the film in it and discover a crime. Using clues in the negatives, Kendall bumbles his way into a comic and silly mess, filled with great camera-work and that fast, creative editing. There is subjective camera (from Lupino's eyes) and wobbly hand-held camera, and a series of wipes following a series of opening doors that will blow your mind. Or your eyes. It's genius, even if it's low budget stuff. It even has the elements of a screwball comedy, where two unlikely leads are destined to fall in love after all.

You can find a free stream or free download of this non-copyrighted movie on line easily. The quality is passable on a computer screen, but little else. But it's worth it!

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