In Weimar-era Berlin, an aspiring writer strikes up a friendship with a vivacious, penniless singer.

Director:

Henry Cornelius

Writers:

John Van Druten (from the play "I am a Camera"), Christopher Isherwood (based on the stories of) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Harris ... Sally Bowles
Laurence Harvey ... Christopher Isherwood
Shelley Winters ... Natalia Landauer
Ron Randell ... Clive
Lea Seidl Lea Seidl ... Fräulein Schneider
Anton Diffring ... Fritz Wendel
Ina De La Haye ... Herr Landauer
Jean Gargoet Jean Gargoet ... Pierre
Stanley Maxted Stanley Maxted ... Curtis B. Ryland, Editor
Alexis Bobrinskoy Alexis Bobrinskoy ... Proprietor (Troika)
André Mikhelson André Mikhelson ... Head Waiter (Troika)
Frederick Valk Frederick Valk ... Doctor
Tutte Lemkow ... Electro-Therapist
Patrick McGoohan ... Swedish Water Therapist
Julia Arnall ... Model
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Storyline

In Weimar-era Berlin, an aspiring writer strikes up a friendship with a vivacious, penniless singer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AT LAST ON THE SCREEN! JOHN VAN DRUTEN'S DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD- WINNING PLAY (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Sally Bowles was based upon a real person Jean Ross. In reality, Ross was considerably more politically-inclined and intelligent than the Sally Bowles character created by Christopher Isherwood. In addition to being an actress and singer, Ross was a devout Stalinist and served as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. She was noted for her heroism in reporting from the front lines of battles. Her many romantic partners included Eric Maschwitz, Peter van Eyck, Claud Cockburn, and poet John Cornford. See more »

Goofs

Whilst most of the film is a flashback set in the early 1930s, all the costumes and hairstyles worn are straight out of the early 1950s. See more »

Quotes

Christopher Isherwood: [to Sally] Any mess you get into, you try and get out of by using your extremely inadequate sex appeal.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Julie Harris Shines
11 August 2008 | by drednmSee all my reviews

This British film version of the stage play I AM A CAMERA is based on Christopher Isherwood's "Berlin Stories." This is the source material for the famous musical CABARET.

Julie Harris, a major stage actress of her day, reprises her 1951 Tony Award winning role as Sally Bowles. She's a far cry from the Liza Minnelli character but the basic "Sally" is all here despite the various film codes that would have blocked this story from being filmed in Hollywood. Harris is perhaps stagy but she's also quite good as the madcap and maddening Sally. Her singing number is obviously dubbed (by Marlene Dietrich no less) although Harris apparently sings for herself in other moments.

Laurence Harvey (with the very ugly hair) plays Isherwood with zero charm and can't even make the character interesting. Shelley Winters does little with the role of Natalia (Marian Winters won a supporting Tony for the play), and Anton Diffring is OK as Fritz. Ron Randell plays the caddish Clive but seems a tad loud. Lee Seidl is funny as the landlady.

Yet despite the overall staginess and cheap look, Harris takes center stage and she is amazing. This film was released the same year as EAST OF EDEN in which Harris gives a glowing performance as Abra. Comparing the two performances gives a good look at the talent Miss Harris possesses. These two characters couldn't be more unalike. Harris' Sally preens and prances about and growls out a very lascivious laugh. She also acts circles around the boring Harvey.

Without the music and with a familiar storyline, many viewers may find little here to recommend this film, but it's a great chance to see the great Julie Harris repeating what was probably a very shocking role in 1951.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1955 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Une fille comme ça See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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