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Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society

Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society founded A Race For Ties Cooper's Newsreel SleepInn Beauty The Fatal Flower

May 1930 - The Fatal Flower

Following the successful formula established with A Race for Ties, (1929) and SleepInn Beauty, (1930), Dorothea Mitchell next scripted a crime story for the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society; this genre was popular in Hollywood at the time. The plot of The Fatal Flower revolves round a young woman, Dolly Dearborn, and a young man, Jack Madison, whose budding romance occurs just as a rash of bank heists plagues Northwestern Ontario. Dearborn's father, who happens to be the chief of police, is murdered while investigating a tip given by a disreputable looking "snitch."

Photo of Dolly Dearborn pinning the flower on Jack Madison, in The Fatal Flower
Mitchell once again elected to fill the cast with new members "enrolled to suit the characters." For this film, she selected Harold Gross as the leading man, a member of the Allan Cup winning "Bear Cats" featured in Cooper's Newsreel that had preceded the first showing of A Race for Ties. Margaret Arthur was approached to play the leading lady, while Wally McComber was once again prevailed upon, this time to play a homeless "snitch." Dorothea Mitchell's reputation, as with the two other films, paved the way for the group to have access to much needed locations. She convinced one of the local bank managers to allow the group to shoot the robbery scene at the Imperial Bank of Canada. Additional scenes were shot at Boulevard Lake and the former Customs Building, which was used as the Police Station in the film.

In May of 1930, Movie Makers reported that The Fatal Flower was nearing completion, running 1600-2000 of film footage. Likewise, according to Mitchell "everything went well until photography was completed." Needing only to complete the title cards, the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society did not finish the film, due to the combined effects of the depression, the transfer of leading man Gross to Winnipeg, and the increasing lack of interest on the part of members doomed the production.

Film Credits

Director:Harold Harcourt
Scenerio:Dorothea Mitchell
Photography:Fred Cooper
Casting:Dorothea Mitchell


Margaret Arthur as Dolly Dearborn
Harold Gross as Jack Madison
Wally McComber as "the Snitch"
Herb Elliot  
Chris Dunbar  
Frank Kavanaugh  
Duncan Roberts  
Frank Toole  
Mrs. J. Toole  
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Dorothea Mitchell Biography
Canada's First Amateur Feature-Length Film: A Race for Ties
Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society
The Fatal Flower Project | Educational Resources