Historic Sunrise Camera Survivor, Mitchell #50
Mitchell Camera Corp. Articles

Historic Sunrise Camera Survivor, Mitchell #50

By Ed Johnson


Producer/Director Victor Schertzinger personally signed for Mitchell Camera #50 when it arrived at the William Fox Studios in March of 1925.

But before he could use it on his next scheduled production, it and Mitchell #40 were assigned to William Fox’s first prestige project to be directed by German wunderkind director F W Murneau. The project was to become one of the best films of all time. The silent classic “Sunrise.”

MACHD:Users:macpro:Desktop:owners articles:#50:IMG_0289.jpgCinematographers on the project were legends Charles Rosher, and Karl Struss.

MACHD:Users:macpro:Desktop:owners articles:#50:800px-F_W_Murnau_01.jpgIn an era before optical printers, the production team put the in-camera special effects features of the new Mitchells to the test with multiple exposure composited sequences that still are impressive even today.


Among the early films known to have been shot with this camera were “stage Madness”, “The Lilly” and “Return of Peter Grimm.”MACHD:Users:macpro:Desktop:owners articles:#50:return of peter.jpg







Most certainly, Mitchell #50 was involved in many films made by Fox studios and in the inventory that passed over to 20th Century Fox Corporation into the 1930’s and 40’s when these cameras were the workhorse of the industry some of whom transitioned into the early sound era until finally replaced by more modern cameras.

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The camera turned up 90 years later as a camera box missing its rackover base and turret in a batch of equipment purchased by Cinema Engineering. It was thoroughly reconditioned into working order.

It was purchased by Jason White of Movie Prop King in Florida in August of 2012.

Historic “Sunrise” Mitchell Camera #50 is more of a collectable now but is in full running condition and has seen a new life in the movie industry as a period filmmaking prop into its second century.



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