Body, Voice and Noise: Acting for Sound Films as Debated in the Interwar Romanian Press


  • Delia Enyedi Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


acting, sound cinema, sound film, spoken film, silent cinema, theatre, Romanian press, interwar period


Sound cinema arrived on Romanian screens in 1929 to a moderate response. Critics and artists alike pondered over their status as an altered version of silent cinema, filmed theatre or a new art form. All three alternatives were further confronted to the status of the actor, as delineated by theatre, in an attempt to clarify the uncertain future of the film actor who used both his body and voice. This paper conducts a survey of articles on these issues published by Romanian interwar newspapers. Their authors reached various conclusions, from predicting the imminent failure of sound cinema and, thus, the disappearance of the spoken film actor, temporarily subjected to enacting on celluloid a shadow of his defining stage performance, to examining solutions that conciliated spoken dialogue with the sound dimension of film.

Author Biography

Delia Enyedi, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

DELIA ENYEDI is an assistant professor in the Cinematography and Media Department of the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania. She is the author of Janovics. Filmmaker in the Generation 1900 (in Romanian, Cluj University Press, 2022) as well as articles on early and silent cinema in academic journals, most recently in Studies in Eastern European Cinema and Apparatus. Film, Media and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe.




How to Cite

Enyedi, D. (2023). Body, Voice and Noise: Acting for Sound Films as Debated in the Interwar Romanian Press. Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai - Dramatica, 68(1), 71–85. Retrieved from