The Ghost Camera
|Directed by||Bernard Vorhaus|
|Produced by||Julius Hagen|
|Written by||Joseph Jefferson Farjeon (short story)
H. Fowler Mear
|Music by||W.L. Trytel|
|Edited by||David Lean|
Real Art Productions
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures (UK)
Olympic Pictures (US)
|September 1933 (UK)
The Ghost Camera is a 1933 British mystery film directed by Bernard Vorhaus, starring Henry Kendall, Ida Lupino and John Mills, and based on "A Mystery Narrative", a short story by Joseph Jefferson Farjeon.
Despite being made quickly on a low budget, the film has come to be considered as one of the most successful Quota quickies made during the Thirties.
While driving back from a seaside holiday, a young man discovers that a camera has dropped mysteriously into his car. When he develops the negatives, one of the pictures appears to show a murder taking place while the others offer clues to where the event has taken place.
After identifying one of the women in the pictures, she and he go on a search through the countryside to try to locate her missing brother whose camera they believe it to be. Unfortunately, the police also appear to be on his trail, believing that he has just committed a robbery at a jewellery shop.
- Henry Kendall as John Gray
- Ida Lupino as Mary Elton
- John Mills as Ernest Elton
- Victor Stanley as Albert Sims
- George Merritt as Police Detective
- Felix Aylmer as Coroner
- Davina Craig as Amelia Wilkinson, a maid
- Fred Groves as Barnaby Rudd, landlord
The film was made at Julius Hagen's Twickenham Studios as part of a long-term contract to provide films for the American major studio RKO enabling it to comply with the terms of the Cinematograph Films Act 1927. Most such films were cheaply made supporting features which became known as "quota quickies". Hagen's Twickenham company developed a reputation as a leading producer of popular quota quickies.
The film's director, Bernard Vorhaus, had arrived in Britain from America in 1930 and established himself as a director of quota films in Britain's rapidly growing film industry. His films became notable for featuring rapid editing and location shooting, both of which were relatively rare for supporting films.
The film premièred in September 1933 at MGM's flagship Empire Cinema in Leicester Square as the supporting feature on a double bill headed by Turn Back the Clock. It was met by a hostile reception by the audience. However, when the film went on general release it proved popular with audiences and in a number of cinemas it was given top-billing.
- Richards p.185-188
- Chibnall p.162
- Chibnall p.168
- Chibnall, Steve. Quota Quickies: The Birth of the British 'B' film. British Film Institute, 2007.
- Richards, Jeffrey (ed.). The Unknown 1930s: An Alternative History of the British Cinema, 1929- 1939. I.B. Tauris & Co, 1998