Movies and Television Shows

Some interesting images of period clothing for boys are available in movies and television shows. Movies vary greatly in the accuracy of the clothing styles they display. There are some movie, however, that are quite accurate. Clothing styles worn in the 18th Century, including dresses for little boys, can be seen in The Madness of King George (199?). The clothes worn after the Civil War can be seen in one of Disney's better, but little known, Song of the South (1948?). Turn of the century clothes are nicely showcased in Life with Father (1947). Sausage curls, a Fauntleroy

Figure 1.--Clothes worn in the era after the Civil War are shown in "Song of the South". The boy didn't care much for his lace collar.
suit, and a kilt outfit are depicted in Magnificent Ambersons (1942). An older boy in a smart sailor suit was shown in Death in Venice (Italy, 1971). Another nice sailor suit was depicted in Fanny and Alexander (Sweeden: 1980?). Short pants suits worn in the 1930s are nicely depicted in Auntie Mame (1958). A knicker suit is worn by Scout's brother Jim in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). There are many other examples. Some even include scenes which involve the clothing. A boy who rebuckled his knickerbockers below the knee in the popular musical Music Man (1962). The image of spoiled rich kids wearing short pants suits was shown in the Mickey Mouse Club's serial segment Spin and Marty (1956?) and Captain's Corageous (1937). Old fashioned aunts insisting in short pants appeared in Leave It to Beaver (1957?). The rather short short pants popular for casual wear during the 1980s can be seen in Poison Ivy (198?).

Many foreign movies show clothing and school uniforms worn in those countries during specific periods:

Belgium: A good view of Belgian boys clothing during the World War II era can be seen in Sorrow of the Belgians (1995).

England: English school boy clothes during the early 1940s can be seen in Hope and Glory (1985?). The short pants suits worn even in secondary schools during the 1950s can be seen in P'Tang Yang Kipperbang (1982).

France: Clothes and school uniforms worn during the 1940s are shown in Auervoir les Enfantes (1990). Clothes and school uniforms worn a decade later in the 1950s are depicted in La Souffle au coeur (Murmer of the Heart) (France, 1971), including the white knee socks worn by Catholic schoolboys attending a private all-boys college (highschool).

Germany: No information currently available. If you know of some, please let me know.

Italy: Italian clothes styles are nicely shown during the 1940s in The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Italy/Germany,1970?). I know little about Italian films and would appreciate any advise Italian visitors might offer.

I am compiling a alphabetized list of movies which accurately depict period costuming for boys. It should be available in a few weeks. Please let me know of any movies and television shows that are good depictions of period dress.

Christopher Wagner

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Last updated: February 20, 1999