A photographer takes up newsreel shooting to impress a secretary.
MGM was delighted with The Cameraman, though the higher-ups there drew the wrong lessons from its success, congratulating themselves with the condescending belief that it demonstrated that Keaton was even better under the studio’s guidance. Famously, for years they ran the film for other comedians as an example of a perfectly constructed comedy, striking so many prints from the original negative that it became damaged, and a segment remains missing.
— Imogen Sara Smith (Criterion)
The Cameraman’s most tangible moral is that, if you want to achieve unfussy filmed drama, you’d do best to take your lessons from an organ-grinder’s monkey. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a message for the ages.
— Eric Henderson & Derek Smith (Slant)