How to Stop a Motor Car (1902)

Article 4164 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-23-2013
Directed by Percy Stow
Featuring Cecil M. Hepworth, T.C. Hepworth, Claude Whitten
Country: UK
What it is: Comic trick short

After a policeman is run over by a car he is trying to stop, he consults another policeman on the proper method of stopping a motor vehicle.

My hat’s off to Percy Stow for this one; it’s a one-joke premise, but it’s a pretty amusing joke, at least to my eyes. In a sense, I see it as something of a sequel to HOW IT FEELS TO BE RUN OVER, only this time, there’s some clear fantastic content; after the policeman is run over, he is scattered into several pieces, which reassemble themselves through the use of stop-motion animation, though it is clear that the policeman does suffer some trauma as a result of the accident. The correct method of stopping a car also falls under the category of the fantastic (I certainly wouldn’t try it in real life), but I refuse to give that away for anyone interested in seeing the film. This one was fun.

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