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Mr. Motorboat's Last Stand - John Flory


Rental Format(s): Digital File

Complete title: Mr. Motorboat's Last Stand: A Comedy of the Depression
Maker: John Flory. Assisted by Theodore Huff and Priscilla Peck
Original format: 16mm silent film 1.37:1
Featuring: Leonard "Motorboat" Stirrup, Jack Robertson, August Rocklitz, Norman Raylis, Berthie Boelsterli, and Douglas Bower
Technical Note: Image quality poor due to VHS telecine of film now considered "lost."

Mr. Motorboat's Last Stand, written and produced by John A. Flory, who was assisted in photography by Theodore Huff, carries the subtitle, A Comedy of the Depression. It has, however, nothing in common with the typical motion picture comedy but is, instead, one of the very few films made each year that represent an intelligent attempt at experimentation with the motion picture medium. It is a story of Mr. Motorboat, an unemployed negro, who lives as elegantly as circumstances will permit in an automobile dump and who sells carefully washed and polished apples on a street corner. The picture turns into fantasy as Mr. Motorboat appears to ride to work in the morning in one of the cars of the dump that stands motionless without its wheels. Then the fantasy becomes more complete when he makes a bit of money and uses it as bait with which to fish in Wall Street. This he does literally and actually and with marvelous results until the crash of 1929. Simultaneously with the explosion of the prosperity bubble, Mr. Motorboat's competitor smashes his apple stand and the picture ends in a magnificent chase sequence, Mr. Motorboat after the competitor... it is decidedly the best experimental film of the year. -Movie Makers, December 1933

He [John Florey] was so creative it was amazing. When he got an idea, he literally jumped for joy, and his eyes twinkled. -Thomas Hope

John A. Flory (1910-1987) was a pioneer in the use of motion pictures for nontheatrical applications for business, education, government and medicine. For 21 years, he served as the adviser on nontheatrical films at the Eastman Kodak Company headquarters in Rochester. He was also president of Flory Films Inc. of Manhattan, a producer and distributor of public relations, advertising and training films. -New York Times

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