I Am A Camera marks the first ever screen appearance of Christopher Isherwood’s iconic character Sally Bowles, later made famous by Liza Minelli in Cabaret and played here by BAFTA-nominated Julie Harris, recreating her Tony® Award-winning performance from the stage play. Based on Isherwood’s 1945 novel, ‘The Berlin Stories’, I Am A Camera was directed by Henry Cornelius (Passport to Pimlico, The Galloping Major) and also stars Laurence Harvey (Silent Enemy, Room at the Top) as Isherwood.
Berlin, the 1930s. A young English writer (Laurence Harvey) arrives in the city and takes to sharing a flat with vivacious nightclub singer Sally Bowles (Julie Harris). Together they experience the mad swirl of bohemian life and dream of the successes that will be theirs in the future, but as the Swastika becomes an omnipresent symbol throughout the city, and as their Jewish friends begin to fall victim to Nazi persecution, it becomes apparent that there are dark days ahead.
Due to the scandal the play caused on its opening in 1951, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) and the Lord Chamberlain’s Office refused to approve any film adaptation unless substantial changes were made. Consequently, most of the play’s dialogue was rewritten to remove all objectionable material and key plot developments were removed. Despite these alterations, the film still received an ‘X’ certificate on release.
Written by John Collier from the play by John van Druten, based on the stories by Christopher Isherwood
For the 2022 restoration of I Am A Camera, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned and restored in 4K to produce a brand new HD master