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


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


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


An aged night watchman at a movie studio dreams that he and his outdated movie camera have a chat about the good old days while he naps late one night.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 <>

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Short | Drama





Release Date:

11 August 1934 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Part of the Pepper Pot (1-reel) series; filmed in 1933 for the 33/34 season See more »


Features The Wolf Woman (1916) See more »


Long, Long Ago
Music by Thomas Haynes Bayley
Played when discussing political meetings
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange Short
1 January 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Camera Speaks, The (1934)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely bizarre Vitaphone short was G.W. Bitzer being credited with the story. For those who don't know, Bitzer was the first great cinematographer doing hundreds of films for D.W. Griffith during their golden period. The film tries to pay respect to the "golden period" of movies as an elderly guard falls asleep after two new hot shots bring in a new movie camera to store. Before leaving they make fun of the older movie camera and later the "spirit" of this old camera tells us all the great images it caught back in its day. This is when we get countless clips from various silent movies including an early Edison short, a Charles Ray film and one with Gloria Swanson. Having a movie be able the "spirit" of a camera certainly makes for an interesting idea and for the most part this is a nice tribute to early cinema even though I'm really not sure what the point was unless it was to remind people of 1934 that films use to be silent. Joseph Henabery is the uncredited director here and he too has a connection to Griffith, which includes playing Lincoln in THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

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