I Am A Camera review (DVD)

Based on John van Druten’s 1951 play which itself was based on Christopher Isherwood’s book The Berlin Stories, I Am A Camera follows the story of Isherwood (Harvey) and his time spent in 1930s Berlin.

Although Nazism is on the rise, this is a time of great freedom in the German capital and attitudes reflect this. Sally (Harris) is a young English girl with little in the way of moral values and this seems to be at least one of the reasons she becomes friends with the young author.

This 1955 film perhaps unsurprisingly is somewhat set bound. However, thanks to the quality of the source material and a decent John Collier screenplay, it’s an intelligent if talky look at the social mores of the period.

The lack of drama in terms of action is compensated for by a series of theatrical turns by the supporting cast, although these do tend to come across feeling more than a little anachronistic. Times have changed so significantly since the film was made, never mind when the story was set that this is always likely to be the case.

Still, the performances of Harvey and Harris are first rate and their characters, flawed as they are, come across as believable if not always entirely sympathetic. An interesting period piece but by no means a classic.

EXTRAS The trailer and a photo gallery.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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