5 user

The Camera Speaks (1934)

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


G.W. Bitzer (story) (as Billy Bitzer), Dolph Singer (dialogue)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Credited cast:
Leo Donnelly Leo Donnelly ... Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Jennings Bryan ... Himself (archive footage)
Dorothy Dalton ... (archive footage)
Louise Glaum ... (archive footage)
Charles Ray ... (archive footage)
Gloria Swanson ... (archive footage)
Bobby Vernon ... (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An aged night watchman at a movie studio dreams that he and his outdated movie camera have a chat about the good old days while he naps late one night.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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama







Release Date:

11 August 1934 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone Production Reel #1600. See more »


Features The Wolf Woman (1916) See more »


The Star-Spangled Banner
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
Played during the William Jennings Bryan scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Strange little short subject with some special effects...
2 June 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

THE CAMERA SPEAKS is a Vitaphone short about old-time cameramen talking about "the good old days" and often showing a little scorn for the early film-making techniques of the stars and filmmakers they speak of.

When one of the old-timers falls asleep, he dreams about the past. His reflections include a glimpse of a theater marquee bearing the names John Barleycorn and Jack London; an old-fashioned fireman's parade; Gloria Swanson emoting with a baby and a dog in some quickie, probably a two-reeler; William Jennings Bryan giving a speech at a crowded rally in New York City's Union Square with the men in their derbys and the younger men wearing caps.

The special effects include the dream sequence with a ghostly image of the man rising from his chair to address a man whose face is superimposed on the camera lens. The two of them engage in a conversation about the past in slightly mocking tones.

Not much can be said for this except it does allow us to see how far movies in general have progressed since then.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed