Cast & Crew
A carefree, homosexual beatnik treks through San Francisco, carrying a flower, an American flag, and a teddy bear, seeking love and communication among people. After stealing a gardenia, he stops at a bagel shop before returning to his home, which is an abandoned powerhouse. There he discovers a man hidden in the cellar with a teddy bear. The flower thief washes the teddy bear and, on seeing a room full of people, flees from the building. Dragging his teddy bear, he climbs Telegraph Hill and, upon reaching Coit Tower at the top, coasts his wagon down the hill. He dances with a young woman in a bathing suit, destroys an old radio, accidentally sets in motion a derrick, which begins to rip up a building, and rolls a large wheel into the dilapidated wall of a ruined factory. Sleeping on the statue of a lion, the flower thief clutches its stone testicles. He enters a beatnik bar and is met with derisive mockery by the urbane poets who gather there. Once, on one of his many walks down the middle of a street, he stands behind a policeman on a main thoroughfare and directs traffic with him. Elsewhere, a group of beatniks satirize the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima by "crucifying" the flower thief on a flagpole with a flag cravat. Finally, he picks up a young man in a penny arcade, and they wander through the amusement park, passing the merry-go-round and a display of fireworks. In the end, the two are seen walking together into the sea.
Filmed on location in San Francisco, 1959-60. May have been shown originally at 48 or 59 min; 75 min and 85 min versions were subsequently released. Excerpts from Alice in Wonderland are read on the soundtrack. Single-frame sequences are included.