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The Delights of Automobiling (1900)
"Explosion of a Motor Car" (original title)

 |  Short, Comedy  |  July 1902 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 458 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

This is altogether a remarkable picture and of very fine photographic value. It shows a picturesque country road, down which comes a two-seated automobile carrying four people. As the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Cecil M. Hepworth ...
Henry Lawley ...
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Storyline

This is altogether a remarkable picture and of very fine photographic value. It shows a picturesque country road, down which comes a two-seated automobile carrying four people. As the machine approaches a position directly in front and near the camera it explodes in a tremendous cloud of smoke. A policeman standing near by rushes to the scene of the disaster and in great amazement looks to the sky where the people have been blown. As he looks the shattered remains fall to earth; first an arm, then a leg, etc., until the road is covered with fragments. The policeman gathers them all together and puts down memoranda in his note book and then goes and reports the disaster. The scene is so well done that it is startling in the extreme and at the same time very humorous. Written by Selig Catalog

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Short | Comedy

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July 1902 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Explosion of an Automobile  »

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User Reviews

The Camera Effects & Macabre Humor Work Pretty Well
12 May 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Both the camera effects and the rather macabre sense of humor work pretty well in this short feature about the "Explosion of a Motor Car". Its original viewers were probably most interested in the special camera effects. These might not seem like anything special now, but in a few of these very old films they are really no less convincing than some of the computer-generated images that are so overused at the present time.

Beyond the camera tricks, there are some amusing moments from the policeman who comes to survey the scene. The morbid humor in his bureaucratic, officious response to the situation is amusing in itself, and it forms a contrast with the more dramatic parts of the action. Because of that, this little feature has a comic balance that you often don't see in movies of its kind that have been made more recently. It's also always interesting to see movies about automobiles that were made in the days when both cars and movies were still novelties.


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