Figure 6.--This is a picture of child star Jacki Searl. I think the picture was taken about 1929-31, although I'm not sure what film he was appearing in. He often played brats, such as Cousin Sid in "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Fin".
Boys appeared in Fauntleroy suits in a wide range of movies. For the most part the boys only had small roles There were only a few actual productions of Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Sometimes even established child actors wore Fauntleroy suits,
like Jacki Searl, but usually in their younger years before they were
well established stars. One they had achieved star staus, the
did not want more elaborate Fauntleroy suits for them, regardless of the
role. Even when Freddy Bartholmew played Little Lord Fauntleroy,
his costuming bore little resemblence to those worn by Cedric in the
classic tale written by Mrs. Burnett and displayed by the brilliant
Reginald Birch illustrations.
Some of these films depict Fauntleroy suits in the classic era. Others show suits worn in the 1920s and 30s. Often these were fanciful outfits. One image of Jacki Searl shows him in a Fauntleroy suit with black socks, shortpants, and a sash. These were unlikely combinations. Sashes were worn with kneepants and stockings with classic suits, but rarely with the short pants suits worn in the 1920s and 30s.
Interestingly, the boys depicted in these outfits are usually bratty kids. The image was that rich wealthy kids were pampered, spoiled kids and often dressed this way. It was an aid to developing the character.
Not only was a bratty role written for the boy, but the outfit helped to furthur
confirm the character. This was the image that Little Lord
Fauntleroy assumed in the popular mind. Which of course was a far cry
from the character written by Mrs. Burnett.
This image was certainly the one develooped for boys wearing Fauntleroy
suits in American films. I'm not sure if this was the case in films made in other
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