E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca

Image from Movie Makers, Dec. 1937, 603.

Date produced: 1937


Robert C. Orr

Kenneth V. Bloomer




400 ft





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1937 - Honorable Mention General Class


"To produce a clear explanation of just how the modern dial telephone works is a task that would tax any movie maker's ability, or even the united capabilities of any two filmers. Yet, when Kenneth Bloomer and Robert Orr. jr., pooled their movie making and telephone engineering knowledge to make Behind the Dial, they produced one of the most competent technical films that Movie Makers staff has ever seen. Clear, flawless photography, combined with a script that was worked out with infinite care, makes the story interesting and complete. Particularly effective are the sequences of the operation of the automatic machinery of the dial systems, in which shots of the encased mechanisms dissolve into scenes of the same mechanisms after the cases have been removed. The camera achieves the effect of an X-ray in revealing what actually happens within a maze of machinery to make the dial system possible. The film represents a tremendous amount of labor and planning, for much of the equipment shown had to be filmed at the telephone office late at night when the traffic was very light. This is a documentary film of both educational and entertainment value." Movie Makers, Dec. 1937, 628-629.


"The Messrs. Orr and Bloomer, coproducers of Behind the Dial, worked more than a year in compiling its one reel of finished film." Movie Makers, Dec. 1937, 596.

The film was a "high ranking" entry in an Eastern seaboard interclub movie contest in 1938 (Movie Makers, April 1938, 181).





  • Screened by the Peekskill Cinema Club in 1940: Peekskill, N.Y.
  • Screened by the 8mm. Club of Rochester in 1950: Rochester, N.Y.

Do you know where this film is? Get in touch with us at amdb@ucalgary.ca.