National Movie Depictions of Boys Clothes: Hungarian Films

Figure 1.--The Hungarian film "Az Elso Csoda" is a rather strange mixture of robots, horses, apartments, and schools, but it does show clothes that Hungarian boys were wearing in the 1960s--including school smocks.

HBC knows of a few Hungariam movies which have provided some information. HBC believes that films made in Hungary and other Eastern European countries often were low-buget affairs. Films with contemporay settings often did not have elaborate costumes, but rather had the boys, espdecially if they were not main characters wear their own clothes--thus providing a useful glimpse of contemprary styles. Hungarian films because of the Cold War and the language were not widely distributed in the West. Hopefully our Hungarian readers will provide us more information.

Clothing Styles

HBC at this time does not have sufficent information on Hungarian films to assess the boys clothing styles portrayed in them. The one exception is the blue school smocks that appear in some films. HBC did not know that Hungarian boys wore school smocks. We are still not sure how wide spread the opractice was. The style shown in two films is a blue, front buttoning smock, cut short like a jacket.

Individual Films

A Varazslo - (Hungary, 1969)

HBC is unsure what the title of this film means in English. Hopefully a Hungarian reader will help us wuth the title. The film itself is a confusing tale dated 1969, involving an ecletic mixture of robots, horses in high rise appartments, and android doubles of the main character. In between all of this are scences at school. The boys wear blue smocks. I am unsure how common this was in Hungarian scgools. The many boys involved in the film provide interesting glimpses of Hungarian boys clothes in 1969.

(The) Boys of Paul Street (England/Hungary, 1969)

Story of rival boy gangs filled with beautiful school boys, especially John Moulder-Brown. The story is designed to show the futility of war. The boys wear various forms of short pants outfits. Stars Anthony Kemp.The Boys' of Paul Stree is a poignant anti-war film. It is a joint ritish-English production featuring boys from both countries. Although filmed in 1967, it was not released in the United States until 1969. The film is based on a 1927 novel by Hungarian author Ferenc Molnar, A Pal Utcai Fiuk. The book is much better known in Europe than America. The principal charcters are two rival bands of boys. The film is set in Budapest during 1907, the costuming however tends to be more modern.

Colonel Redl (Hungary, 1984)

An interesting German-language account of Alfred Redla, a carrer-oriented soldier from a working-class background, who rises to a leadership position in the pre-World War I Austro-Hungarian Army. His working-class background is further complicated by Jewish-Catholic roots. Much of the film is set in Prague. The film opens at an Austrian military academy in the latter years of the 19th century. There are two uniforms worn by cadets: a dress outfit with silver buttons and a simpler everyday outfit.

My 20th Century - (Hungary, 1989)

A visually stunning, delightfully whimsical turn of the familiar story line of separated twins whose paths cross, this time aboard the Orient Express. I haven't seen this, but assume the twins are pictured as children at the beginning.

Yan Bibiyan - (Hungary, about 1980)

A HBC reader notes the Hungarian film "Yan-Bibiyan" made about 1980. It is a film about the relationship between a rich girl and poor boy. One image shows the poor boy dressed in rags and a catapult (sling-shot) in his hands. The film is set on Hungary during the 1930s. We have few details on the film at this time. Hopefully our Hungarian readers will provide us more details.

Unknown film

Some images are available from a Saturday Hungarian childrens film, but virtually no information about the film. It looks to have been made about 1970. No title is available at this time. Boys in the film going to school appear to be wearing the same blue front buttoning smocks as shown in A Varazslo. This confirms that these blue smocks were widely worn by Hungarian boys in the 1960s and 70s.


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Created: January 22, 2001
Last updated: March 3, 2003