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Film, Video The sculptor's nightmare

About this Item


  • The sculptor's nightmare


  • At a political club, the members debate whose bust will replace that of Theodore Roosevelt. Unable to agree, each goes to a sculptor's studio and bribes him to sculpt a bust of the individual favorite. Instead, the sculptor spends their fees on a dinner with his model during which he becomes so inebriated that he is taken to jail. There he has a nightmare, wherein three busts are created and animated from clay (through stop-motion photography) in the likenesses of Democrat William Jennings Bryan and Republicans Charles W. Fairbanks and William Howard Taft. The drunken sculptor arises from his cot to see the animated faces of the three politicians. The busts disappear and he falls on his cot, writhing in distress. While he is prone, another figure begins to appear: first the clay forms itself into a G.O.P. elephant, then a teddy bear, and finally, into the animated face of Teddy Roosevelt himself. The sculptor rises again, and is startled to see yet another apparition. It disappears and the sculptor collapses on his cot and is still.


  • McCutcheon, Wallace, direction.
  • Bitzer, G. W., 1872-1944, camera.
  • Sennett, Mack, 1880-1960, cast.
  • Solter, Harry L., 1874-1920, cast.
  • O'Sullivan, Tony, -1920, cast.
  • Dillon, Edward, 1880-1933, cast.
  • Griffith, D. W. (David Wark), 1875-1948, cast.
  • American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company; 1908.


  • -  Sculptors--Humor
  • -  Drinking of alcoholic beverages--Humor
  • -  Nightmares--Humor
  • -  Bryan, William Jennings,--1860-1925--Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Fairbanks, Charles W.--(Charles Warren),--1852-1918--Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Taft, William H.--(William Howard),--1857-1930--Caricatures and cartoons
  • -  Roosevelt, Theodore,--1858-1919--Caricatures and cartoons


  • Comedy films
  • Trick films
  • Stop-motion animation films
  • Live-action/animation films
  • Short films
  • Silent films
  • Fiction films


  • -  H110169 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: American Mutoscope & Biograph Co.; 4May1908; H110169.
  • -  Mack Sennett, Harry Solter, Anthony O'Sullivan, Eddie Dillon, D.W. Griffith.
  • -  Camera, G.W. Bitzer.
  • -  Duration: 9:15 at 16 fps.
  • -  End sequence lacking from digital file on
  • -  Filmed on April 18 and 20, 1908, in Biograph's New York City studio.
  • -  Biograph production no. 3415.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2741) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files (incomplete).
  • -  Complete digitial file for this title is available on-site. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 290; American Film Institute catalog, film beginnings, 1893-1910, p. 955; Biograph production log, v. 2; Biograph bulletins, 1896-1908, p. 350, p. 448.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.


  • 1 video file (digital, MPEG-4) (ca. 9 min.) : si., b&w.
  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (266 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (266 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1 (ca. 700 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.
  • paper pos (copy 2) 1 roll of 1 (ca. 700 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 5692 (viewing print)
  • FRA 2530 (dupe neg pic)
  • Box 0255A (paper pos)
  • Box 5343A (paper pos, copy 2)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 99407360

Access Advisory

  • Restricted: some video files available on-site only. Access by appointment.

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and makes no warranty with regard to their use for other purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as holders of publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

While the Library is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the materials in Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film, there may be content protected as "works for hire" (copyright may be held by the party that commissioned the original work) and/or under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. The Library is eager to hear from individuals or institutions that have information about these materials or know of their history.

Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Users should consult the catalog information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding item and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses.

The following films are made available here with permission from the Theodore Roosevelt Association, P.O. Box 719, Oyster Bay, N.Y. 11771 (Internet address:

The Story of the Panama Canal [1]
T. R.'s Return from Africa, 1910 [2]
A Visit to Theodore Roosevelt at His Home at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, L.I., 1912
Roosevelt, Friend of the Birds [1]
The Roosevelt Dam [1]
The River of Doubt [2].

Permission may be needed from the Theodore Roosevelt Association before using these films for other purposes.

Suggested credit line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, Mack Sennett, Harry L Solter, Tony O'Sullivan, Edward Dillon, D. W Griffith, American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, and Paper Print Collection. The Sculptor's Nightmare. directeds by Mccutcheon, Wallaceection United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1908. Video.

APA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Sennett, M., Solter, H. L., O'Sullivan, T., Dillon, E., Griffith, D. W. [...] Paper Print Collection. (1908) The Sculptor's Nightmare. McCutcheon, W., dir United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Bitzer, G. W., Camera, et al. The Sculptor's Nightmare. dir by Mccutcheon, Wallaceection United States: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1908. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.