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The Camera Speaks (1934)

 |  Short, Drama  |  11 August 1934 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 31 users  
Reviews: 4 user

An elderly night watchman at the Vitagram movie studio falls asleep and dreams about the old days.

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(story) (as Billy Bitzer) , (dialogue)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Leo Donnelly ...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Jennings Bryan ...
Himself (archive footage)
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(archive footage)
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Storyline

An aged night watchman at a movie studio dreams that he and his outdated movie camera have a chat about the good old days while he naps late one night. We see the marquee of a Jack London film, John Barleycorn; we watch Dorothy Dalton wait in a swamp for Charlie Ray to come calling; a young Gloria Swanson and her dog rescue a baby with some accidental help from Bobby Vernon; Louise Glaum, the Mae West of her day, ensnares a businessman and takes his reputation; and, William Jennings Bryan gives a speech in Union Square. These were the real pioneers notes the talkative camera before the watchman's alarm clock wakes him at 16 to 1 in the morning to go on his rounds. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

11 August 1934 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone Production Reel #1600. See more »

Connections

Features The Wolf Woman (1916) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played when discussing initials and autographs
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User Reviews

 
Billy Bitzer's Memories
7 April 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Camera Speaks is a strange short subject where famed silent cinematographer Billy Bitzer leaves a new camera and then sees that night watchman Leo Donnelly is guarding one of those old crank cased movie cameras that was state of the art just when silent films were getting going. Bitzer as chief cameraman for David Wark Griffith made his own contribution and no doubt a lot of these films were some of his work.

Donnelly in a dream sequence reminisces with the old camera and they share memories of what they've seen. Not just films with silent stars like Gloria Swanson and Louise Glaum, but newsreel scenes, one in particular with William Jennings Bryan in one of his presidential campaigns.

It's odd that this a film where the message seems to be that we've reached a modern age and stuff like this is nice, but quaint. Personally that's my verdict in this short subject.


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