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I Am a Camera (1955)

 |  Drama  |  21 July 1955 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 331 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

In the early thirties, aspiring writer Christopher Isherwood, living in Berlin, meets the vivacious, penniless singer Sally Bowles. They develop a platonic relationship while Sally has a wild time spending other peoples money.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Randell ...
Lea Seidl ...
Anton Diffring ...
Ina De La Haye ...
Herr Landauer
Jean Gargoet ...
Stanley Maxted ...
Curtis B. Ryland, Editor
Alexis Bobrinskoy ...
Proprietor (Troika)
André Mikhelson ...
Head Waiter (Troika)
Frederick Valk ...
Tutte Lemkow ...
Swedish Water Therapist
Julia Arnall ...


In the early thirties, aspiring writer Christopher Isherwood, living in Berlin, meets the vivacious, penniless singer Sally Bowles. They develop a platonic relationship while Sally has a wild time spending other peoples money.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | based on book | See All (2) »


"JULIE HARRIS is as frothy and exciting as a fresh bottle of champagne. An amoral Junior Mistress, a nymph in sheet's clothing...she gives one of the finest performances of her career. No item for children." -- Time Magazine See more »




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Release Date:

21 July 1955 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Une fille comme ça  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)
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Did You Know?


In 1955 the movie received a "Condemned" rating - the lowest possible - by the Legion of Decency, a Roman Catholic organization that passed moral judgments on films between 1933 and 1965. Although this rating was very rare, it was also applied to "Psycho", "Some Like It Hot" and "Breathless." See more »


In the nightclub on New Year's Eve, the drummer does a drum roll and then a cymbal is heard without the drummer hitting the cymbal. See more »

Crazy Credits

In opening credits, Shelley Winters is misspelled "Shelly". See more »


Version of Cabaret (1993) See more »


Ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin
Music by Ralph Maria Siegel
Lyrics by Aldo von Pinelli
Sung by Marlene Dietrich and Liselotte Malkowsky
See more »

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User Reviews

Spellbound by Julie Harris, Charmed off Our Feet
19 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have just seen this delightful classic again after many years, the next to last film directed by Henry Cornelius, who died three years later at the age of only 45 (the same age at which the film's male star Larry Harvey was also to die in 1973). Three future directors were in the crew: Jack Clayton (Associate Producer), Guy Green (cinematographer), and Clive Donner (editor). This film is based upon the autobiographical story 'Goodbye to Berlin' by the well-known British author Christopher Isherwood, which was first turned into a play by John van Druten, then made into this film, then turned into a musical, 'Cabaret', and finally filmed as 'Cabaret', which brought the amazing Liza Minelli to world attention, with her voice which can shatter a glass at the distance of a mile. Isherwood appears as a character in the film under his own name. He was gay, but in those days that was illegal and could land him in prison, so he disguises his proclivities under the description of being what he calls 'a confirmed bachelor'. This is the key to his Platonic relationship with the wildly eccentric, wacky, promiscuous, ever-cheerful and thoroughly unique character whom he calls Sally Bowles. The portrait of Sally Bowles in this film is a tour-de-force by the young Julie Harris, who sweeps every scene into a magical and captivating web of sparkling personal charm. What a vehicle for an actress with plenty of charm of her own! It is one of the great cinematic performances of the 1950s. Isherwood is played to perfection by the young Lawrence Harvey, in a finely-judged performance which never allows the comedy to go over the edge, and even the moments of farce bordering on slapstick remain somehow 'almost believable'. Larry is so funny at portraying a wimpish hypochondriac. What an irony, considering the total lack of hypochondria shown by his bravery and stoicism in the last year of his life as he died from terminal stomach cancer and behaved with such dignity and lack of complaint. I knew him well in the last three years or so, and he was a generous, warm, and modest person. He adored his little girl Domino, now alas also tragically dead.This film was his finest early performance, to be followed by his spectacular work in 'Room at the Top' (1959), 'Summer and Smoke' (1961) and 'The Manchurian Candidate' (1962). Larry was often undervalued in his lifetime because he was too handsome, was often cast as a cad, and glamour boys are not always accepted as good actors, but many of the finest actresses played opposite him, and they were in no doubt of his abilities, and he was a strong lead in many of the most important films of his time. If he had lived beyond middle age, he would have gone from strength to strength and become a 'grand old man' of the screen. Sitting in his house in Hampstead one day, he gave me a glass of his usual white wine from a huge barrel which he had brought from some foreign cellar. I said he always gave me such delicious wine, what was it? He proudly answered that it was a Sancerre which he had chosen himself at the vineyard in France and had shipped over specially. He then added with extreme wistfulness: 'You know, I've been waiting for four years for someone to comment on it and ask me what it is, and you are the first person who has ever done so.' What mattered to him was to be recognised for having taste in wine,and his more glamorous friends had denied him that satisfaction. In this film, Anton Diffring gives a touching early performance as an earnest young man (later he was to have to play Nazi officers far too much, poor fellow), and the young Shelley Winters plays a rich German Jewish girl, in her usual noisy but effective manner, but it was not too difficult, as she was a noisy Jewish girl herself anyway. This film has such an air of joie de vivre about it, that it is pure delight.

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