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You Can't Fool a Camera (1941)

Approved  |   |  Documentary, Short  |  May 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 40 users  
Reviews: 2 user

This short starts out as a documentary. In a dramatization, Eadward Muybridge's photographic experiments prove that when a horse gallops, there are times when all four of the animal's feet ... See full summary »

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Title: You Can't Fool a Camera (1941)

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Complete credited cast:
Pete Kmetovic ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Ruttenberg ...
Ray June ...
Karl Freund ...
Robert H. Planck ...
Norman Z. McLeod ...
Himself (as Norman McLeod)
George J. Folsey ...
Himself (as George Folsey)
M.J. McLaughlin ...
Himself (as Michael J. McLaughlin)
William H. Daniels ...
Himself (as William Daniels)
Clarence Brown ...


This short starts out as a documentary. In a dramatization, Eadward Muybridge's photographic experiments prove that when a horse gallops, there are times when all four of the animal's feet are off the ground. We are then brought to the present, where MGM directors and their cinematographers are shown working on current productions. The film closes with closeups of the studio's major stars and a tribute to the studio's actors who have joined the armed forces. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A New Romance of Celluloid: You Can't Fool a Camera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Crazy Credits

All credited performers are identified by the narrator. See more »


Features Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Curious short about the camera's accuracy in capturing the truth...
1 April 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

There's nothing much to recommend this short from MGM, YOU CAN'T FOOL A CAMERA, except to say that it does prove the theory that all four hoofs of a horse are off the ground at some point in time during their running speed. A whole row of cameras attached to strings that set the shutters off enable proof when at least one of the B&W stills show a horse with all four legs in mid-air.

Then, having proved this and taking a look at a couple of other historical incidents captured on camera, the film goes on to show some of MGM's busy studio craftsmen behind the movie cameras or directing a bevy of films about to be released.

So, in essence, it's a promotional short for upcoming MGM features posing as some sort of documentary. Upcoming titles include some which never materialized as planned: for instance, Spencer Tracy in THE YEARLING or Rosalind Russell and Clark Gable in a film called STRANGE PARTNERS whose title was later changed to THEY MET IN BOMBAY. For the final shot, we get a glimpse of all the talent under contract to MGM at that time: everyone from Gable and Garson to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald and Jean Harlow.

But still, not much to recommend it as anything more than passable interest.

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