You can also slect the movies available on HBC by using this alphabetical movie listing. At this time only a few movies have been analized by HBC for clothing information, but more pages are being added all the time. We incourage readers to submit information about their favorite films.
Truffuet film, a series of vignettes about French childhood. Disappointing, but worth seeing. The film pictures 10 boys and girls whose adventures illustrate the different stages of passage from early childhood to adolescence. The episodes range from humorous to sad and to fantasy. Together they animate the notion that childhood is often perilous, but also full of grace. In French with English subtitles.
The bush boy charactor in two Australian Movies called "Smiley Gets A Gun" and "Smiley Gets A Bike" which were made in the early 1950s and the time era of I think was the early 1900s or about 1925 because an English Reverend drove a Model T to and from the bush district church communities. Smiley Grievence according to a HBC reader is, "a typical ratback Anglo-Saxon Australian boy with blonde hair, blue eyes, and freckles who gets in to a bucket of trouble with the local police sargeant." The sargeant was played brilliantly by the late Chips Rafferty. Smiley was played by Colin Peterson who wore jeans and gingham short sleeve shirt and no shoes. His friend Joey with short dark hair also dressed simular to Smiley. Some boys wore basic cotton baggy long leg shorts, usually khaki, grey, or off white (bone), brown, blue, and fawn. I think some boys wore corduroy too. They wore straw or wide brim western style hats as well as some made from rabbit and roo (kangaroo) hide skins. I think Smiley wore shorts and so did his best friend Joey. A local Aboriginal boy from King Billy's camp wore basic shorts and same coloured shirt but no shoes. An Australian reader suggests, "HBC readers should watch these two old-times movies for a good idea how early 20th century Aussie "larrican" boys dressed."
See "Smiley Gets a Bike" above.
Ron Howard plays a boy attached to a stray German shipboard puppy who helps him to come to terms with his new stepfather. It is set in a small rural community. Ron is beginning to grow up in this picture and plays a young adolescent. He is quite a good actor and handles his adolescence very well. He wears jeans as was common at the time in America. It is a sensitively made movie.
A Dolly Parton made for TV movie. Several nice kids are featured, but no interesting costuming.
"Snow in August" is about an 11-year old Catholic boy who befriends a Polish Rabbi in late 1940's Brooklyn. He witnesses a neighborhood punk beat up a Jewish shopkeeper and his threatened with harm if he tells the police. On a dare, he visits the Rabbi and a friendship is struck. The Rabbi teaches him Yiddish and he teaches the Rabbi about baseball. The Rabbi is a Holocaust survivor who lost his wife who was in the resistance. The boy and his mother are harassed by the punk and his friends, and eventually they beat up the boy and the Rabbi (for being Jewish). The boy recalls how to summon the Golem, a large creature who is made from clay, who rises up and saves the boy from the punks, among other things that I won't mention as it will spoil the ending.
The film is very well made and Peter Tambakis is wonderful in the lead. The costuming is typical for the time. What is interesting is the Catholic school uniforms the boys wear. A jacket, white shirt, shorts, long dark socks and a cap. I wonder if this was common back then. The boy also wears shorts much of the time as leisure wear, which I'm not sure was that common at that time. He also wears a baseball like cap and one of his prize possessions is a Jackie Robinson badge given to him by the Rabbi. The film is set the year that Robinson broke the color line in baseball. He also wears a baseball uniform from time to team. All in all, despite a rather unbelievable ending, this is a superb, well acted film, anchored by the excellent performance by Peter Tambakis.
A group of children in Norway work against the NAZIs. Paul Austad.
A New York accountant takes his family west as he tries to modernize a dilapidated Rocky Mountain resort he inherited. Johnny Whitiker has a small role as the son, Richard.
Tommy Rettig plays a boy with a vivid imagination.
Nostalgic Disney movie about life on a Indiana farm in 1903. The boy who is about 10 raises a black sheep for the fair. The boy gets to big for his britches. Some animated sections. Bobby Driscoll
The title of 'Soapbox Derby' comes from America, the famous soapbox derby with boys and now girls building their own vehicles. The children now use kits. Which they then race without any drive mechanism down a steep hill. The depiction here is in England. A teacher tells us how he used the film in teaching English. He writes, "Must tell you what happened when I showed this 1958 black and white film to my class. Watching films is a fun way for children learning English as a seciond language can use abnd practice their developing skills. I chose an English Children's Film Foundation (CFF) film as they are perfectly suited to the tasre of my 4th graders. I had saved it for the end of term. The film is about two rival groups of boys who are taking part in a Go Kart race. The class was very quite through out the film as it had grabbed their interest. Both boys and girls were clearly enjoying the film. Eyes were focused oN the screen and each child was with the actors as the story unfolded. In the film there is a fight which is very realistic and good ballet, but the boys didn't know that. They lived the fight and afterwards roled played in. There was a humourous scene when one father got his come uphance for his cheating activities. The children recognised actors which they had seen in an Ealing film called 'Hue and Cry'. The climax of the film is the Go Kart Race. When the hero rode over the finish line to victory the entire class cheered with delight. During the film biscuits [cookies] and ice cream (which had been made in a science lesson) were eaten. We had a good cinema experience."
A group of children in a futuristic, drought-plagued society become involved in a battle when they come across a mysterious source of energy. Most of the children are older teenagers. One younger boy wears short pants.
The Soldier (Vojnik) was played by Fraser Macintosh. Actually Fraser almost had a career with Disney, but his mother preferred him to focus on his school work.
A blue collar family man is torn apart when his wife suddenly demands a divorce. One of the two children is a boy about 13 years old. He wears a Dutch-boy hair style and wire rimmed glasses. I've seen the actor him before, but don't know his name.
The life story of middleweight boxer Rocky Grasciano. He is briefly pictured as a boy being beat up by his father who was ostensibly teaching him to box. I thought the boy looked rather like Johnny Shiefield with his curly hair, but it couldn't have been because Johnny would have been too old.
A family is endangered by the evil within their home. Includes a boy about 12 or so, played by Johnny Whitaker. He wears long pants throughout.
Black comedy with British cast set in a European castle. Michael York plays the boy with the something.
True story of the relationship between a gifted athlete and his younger brother who is stricken with leukemia.
The divorced mother of a troublesome boy is worried about his new Big Brother. Incredibly the listings usually don't mention that the boy is Ricky Schroeder who is about 11 or so. He wears jeans.
A young girls gets her wish to be a boy, but finds that boys have their own special kinds of problems.
Two boys discover the terrifying secret underlying a mysterious carnival where fantasies are fulfilled, but only for a horrible price. The movie is set in 1920s and the boys are dressed in suits. Both boys wear long pants, unrealistic as boys would have more likely been wearing knickers at that time. One boy wears wire-frame glasses. They are about 10 or 11 years old. If they had not been in such a ridiculous plot, they could have given a very nice performance. Several boys can be glimpsed in the street scenes, but I didn't see one period costume. Really disappointing, because the costuming was otherwise excellent. Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson.
Martin and Simon are street-wise brats, with no one to care for but each other.
A young aristocrat (Roddy McDowall) is cheated out of his inheritance and then raised as a stable boy by his wicked uncle. Roddy's role lasts only briefly at the beginning of the film. He exiles himself to a desert island to plan his revenge. The adult role is played by Tyrone Power. It is a 18th Century costume drama, but no interesting period outfits. Remade as "Son of the Golden Condor."
A reader tells us, "There have been two recent films set in the 1980s in England "Son of Rambow" and "Is Anyone There" where the boys in the film attend what would be similar to a U.S. public school (highschool) and wore uniforms, but with long pants instead of shorts. Didn't most kids were shorts with school uniforms then. I wonder if the producers were trying look like uniforms of today. A friends kids in England went to 'public' schools in the 1970s and they did not wear uniforms at all." ell I am not sure what you mean by an American public school. If you mean public school in the sence of state school then I would say most children don't wearuniforms.
If you mean the American equivalent of an English public school that would be a prep school--meaning a private secondary school. Now as to English school, this varied. Primary schools varied. Some had uniforms. Many dud not. Most secondary schools had uniforms. Secondary school generally began at age 11 years. The younger boys at English secondary schools did commonly wear shorts into the 1960s. This would mean form 1 and 2 boys about 11-12 years old. This was less common for older boys, although a few private schools did have shorts as part of the uniform, but very few. Shorts were more common in the English prep schools, but declining in popularity.
The movie "The Song of Bernadette" is based on a 1942 novel It is the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirou. This young French girl had eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, a small town in southern France (1858). The interesting aspect of this very French and very Catholic story interesting was written by a Czech, German-speaking Jew--Franz Werfel. Werfel was born in Prague (1890). He became well known as a playwright. Living in Vienna, he began writing plays that lampooned the NAZIs. Withe the NAZI seizure of Austria (Anschluss), he and his wife Alma (Gustav Mahler’s widow), managed to reach France. But then with the start of World War II, the NAZIs invaded France (1940). He and other Jews attempted to reach the safty of Spain, byt the Germans seized the border town of Hendaye where they planned to cross. THe Werfels were sheltered in the town of Lourdes and their Franz learns about Saint Bernadette Soubirou and Our Lady Of Lourdes. Werfel does reach America and there he publishes his book, Song of Bernadette. In the midst of World War II it was an instant success. The following year Hollywood made it into a movie. The movie is generally faithful to Werfel's book which is not a historical novel, but a rather romanticized version of St. Bernadette's story. One of the plot lines is that The Empress Eugene son, the Prince Imperial, was ill and water from the Lourdes' shine saves his life.
Story about three boys in Britain during the 1950s. One is older than the others and beginning to mature. The other two boys, both still in shorts, are a normal boy and his fat sissy friend. The two younger boys are not supposed to be with the older boys, but unbeknownst to their parents they all go train spotting. (For my American friends this is the exciting British sport of noting down the numbers on locomotives as they go by. If this doesn't sound overly exciting, I can assure you that it beats cricket.) They get into trouble and the fat boy gets caught. The true character of the other two is revealed when the older boy runs off, but the younger boy goes back and rescues his friend.
Early talkie vehicle for famed Irish tenor, John McCormack. He returns to Ireland after a opera career and winds up with the two children of his first love. The boy (Tommy Clifford) is about 11 years old. In the still I have seen he is wearing a suit and a beret, but I would think shorts are rather likely. However, I don't know if he wears shorts or longs. There is also a scene where McCormack sings "A Fairy Story by the Fire" to a group of Irish children, presumably many will be in shorts as it was filmed in Ireland. The movie was long thought to be lost, but was recently released on video.
A HBC reader writes, "I have been watching "Songs of Praise" for some time now and I am wondering why some of the boys in the Cathedral Choirs wear white vestments over their coloured robes and others do not. Could you please explain the reason for this." HBC does not know the answer to this question and would be interested in any readers can provide any insights for us.
A child star runs away to help a group of children save a farm field from ruin.
See "Pather Panchali."
Lovely little movie about a sweet little boy (Bobby Driscoll) growing up in the South and the fairy tales told to him by an black slave (it was set before the Civil War), Uncle Remus. Walt Disney's Song of the South is today one of the lesser known Disney films. The Uncle Remus story is considered racially insensitive and is unlikely to be re-released in the United States in the near future. I saw this as a little boy and I'm sure it had a powerful impact on me. The message I got was to question racial prejudice. Song of the South was, however, in many ways a ground breaking film, both in the mixing of live action and animation and, for the 1940s, a rather progressive mixed racial film. Johnny, one of the main characters in the film, wears a burgandy velvet Fauntleroy suits and lace collar--which he detests. He also appears in a sailor suit. The boy's mother dresses him up in the velvet suit and makes him wear a lace collar which his grandmother made for him. He doesn't like it one little bit. He also wears a sailor suit with just below the knee pants. Bobby plays his part brilliantly.
Dean Stockwell plays the son in a rather amusing spanking scene. The boy deserves a spanking and the mother insists, but the father is reluctant to do so. He looks down at the boy's upturned bottom and recalls all their good times together. In one flash back the boy is seen in shorts with a rather sissy collar and bow. In the present scene he is wearing jeans. Finally the father remembers a bit of mischief and begins to spank him. The boy howls although the father is only using a newspaper.
A 13-year old Donald O'Conner has a part.
Jackie Cooper and Robert Coogan
Musical version of the trap family saga. The film is based on a true story, but thr Trapps thought the film was rather soppy. It was a block buster long-running hit on Broadway with Mary Martin before finally being made into a film musical with Julie Andrews. The children first appear in identical grey sailor suits with green trim. I'm not sure how common that combination was. I'm also not sure how common this was in Austria, it is likely that blue and white suits were more common. Some boys did wear sailor suits in Austria and Germany into their early teens, especially before the NAZI era. The two boys in the film wear short pants and the girls skirts, bith with white kneesocks and white shoes. They also wear play suits, and lederhosen, mostly in short pants and knee socks. The only difference between the older an younger boy is that when they wear lederhosen, the older boy wears the knicker style. Often the boys and girls all wear similar outfits. In one scene, the younger boy wears a night gown. Costuming of the wedding scene, however, is very plain.
A black sharecropper family in the 1930s struggles to build a school in Louisiana during the Depression.
Classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about a planter who falls in love with a nurse. He has two children, a boy and a girl. Their mother was a native, making the movie a powerful inditement of racism. It was very daring when the play first appeared on Broadway. The boy wears shorts.
Children under the control of an alien intelligence attempt to convince their scientific parents that nuclear weapons are dangerous.
A boy joins space outlaws in battling an evil galactic force. Mediocre movie. The movie focuses on a boy, but no particularly notable costumes.
Five teenagers spending a summer at camp for future astronauts are accidentally thrust into space when an experimental robot tampers with the test firing of a space shuttle.
Mark Lester has a small role in one of his earliest movies.
Lovely movie based on the A.J. Cronin novel. A lonely boy is befriended by the American Consul's gardener. (In the movie it was the British Consul.) The boy wears shorts throughout, often with sandals. He appears in a school uniform as well as in play shorts and sandals without socks. Good acting by the entire cast. The boy was an especially good little actor. He is being raised in a stuffy home and his stogy father takes little interest in his son. The Spanish gardner takes an intersest in the boy introducing him to his family and their warm relationship. His father disapprves. Beautifully told story, even improves on the book as the ending is not so tragic.
In order to send one of their nine children to college, a couple give up plans for their dream home.
See "(Les) Amités Particulières ".
After school Special?
Widower struggles to keep his family of three teenagers together, enrolls his retarded son in a special school.
Universal made a series of Sherlock Holmes films between 1939 and 1946. Basil Rathborne played Holmes. One of these universal films was the 'The Spider Woman'. We note children figured in the plot. The film is set in World War II Britain. Some of the World War II Homesfilms featured NAZI spies, but not this one. Holmes in vestigates a series of unexplained "pyjama suicides"--all involving noted gambers. Holmes suspects Jeremy Perkins. To persue the case, Holmes stages his own death. He then takes on the identity of Rajni Singh, a retired Indian soldier a paralyzed arm. To attract attention Singh loses money in a casino. He then writes a bad check, He stages a suiside. Then the shadowy Andrea Spedding steps in and offers a loan.
Soon afterward a deadly spider is used to kill Singh. The only clue for Holmes to work on are the spider and a child's footprint. Holmes then appears in his own persona and consults archeologists.
An lad has a ruffled cape ripped off of him. In another scene a necklace is ripped off him.
The movie begins with a brief scene of a little boy drawn to the sea.
The film is set in the 1920s and the main characters are high school students. Many of the boys wear knickers.
A young man's parents hire a deprogrammer to bring their son back from a religious cult. A teenage brother wears shorts.
Typical Disney movie with kids and dogs. The lives of two children are turned upside down when a convicted con man's dog leads them to a stash of money. The boy is very agreeably played by Barrett Oliver. The Disney people have still not figured out that American boys wear short pants.
The onslaught of the tourist season complicates two children's plans to prevent the sale of the father's beach-front inn.
This Carry Cooper Civil War vehicle included the hero's son who is about 15. He is a well-known child star, but I don't know his name. I've only seen bits and pieces. The boy doesn't have a large role and does not wear any interesting period costumes. I don't know if he was portrayed as a younger boy earlier in the film.
Spy Kids has received excellent reviews. The movie is one of the best family films of the year. There is plenty of flashy action to please the kids, but the focus is not on violence and gore. The direcor has instilled Spy Kids with a playful sense that will appeal to the kids. The movie opens cleverly, as a young mom puts the kids to bed. Her daughter Carmen asks mom "that bedtime story", and the story of how mom met her love is recounted. Both were ultra-secret spies who were ordered to kill each other but instead fell in love. Carmen and Juni (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara), don't take the story seriously, however, and do not know that behind mom and dad's bedroom vanities there is sci-fi hardware. Juni has trouble at school and is bullied. Since this is an American movie, I assume it is set in America. He appears to wear, however, an English school uniform. Soon Juni has bigger problems. Mom and dad have their "retirement" interrupted by a secret mission. Fiendish techno-genius Fegan Floop (Alan Cumming) and his insidious sidekick Minion (Tony Shalhoub) are pursuing a plan for world destruction. When things go badly, the kids have to save the day. Spy Kids became a much bigger success than anticipated. As a result, an expanded edition was released, with several minutes of footage not
used in the original run. This included special effects sequences that were not within the film's original budget.
In the movie "Spy Kids 2", the Kid Secret Agent school has them all wearing a uniform which consists of a maroon blazer, white shirt, black tie and gray shorts with black knee socks. This uniform was for the boys and girls, which is quite odd for an American film.
It iteresting that quite a few of the boys wear their socks pushed down as that is a "cooler", more modern look. The whole uniform very much resembles the English prep school uniform. The kids wore a similar uniform in the first "Spy Kids" movie at what looked like a private school. Again the boys and girls dressed the same except the boy wore ankle socks and the girl work the long ones.
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille who hit 5 year old Dickie Moore. Dickie looking back is still quite indignant over the incident.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main "S" movie page]
[Return to the Main alphabetical movie page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Theatricals]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]