Top of page

Film, Video The sculptor's nightmare

Digital viewing copy

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.


  • -  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
  • -  Sculptors--Humor
  • -  Drinking of alcoholic beverages--Humor
  • -  Nightmares--Humor


  • 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.
  • -  Duration: 9:15 at 16 fps.
  • -  End sequence lacking from digital file on
  • -  Biograph production no. 3415.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2741) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  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.
  • -  Camera, G.W. Bitzer.
  • -  Mack Sennett, Harry Solter, Anthony O'Sullivan, Eddie Dillon, D.W. Griffith.
  • -  Filmed on April 18 and 20, 1908, in Biograph's New York City studio.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files (incomplete).
  • -  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 not aware of any U.S. copyright or other restrictions in the vast majority of motion pictures in these collections. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse.

In rare cases, copyrighted motion pictures are made available by special permission to the Library and may be used only for educational purposes. For example, the Gershwin home movies fall within this category. Rights assessment is your responsibility. No registration information exists for some titles, and reproduction of some titles may be restricted by privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Additionally, some works may still be protected by copyright in the United States or some foreign countries. The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. You 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 you in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items for their desired uses. You should also consult restrictions associated with donations to the Library.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

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, <>.