Review of Keeping up with the Joneses – Fashion for men
Keeping up with the Joneses is a delightful original cartoon dating back to 1915 by the Gaumont Company. It is set to gentle piano music:
Based on a newspaper cartoon series, we are introduced to Pa McGinis initially through the hands of an animator. He is reading ‘Fashion for men’ in a chair with his feet up, relaxing. His gown is colored in black and the camera pans in on a ‘Very Exclusive Hat Model’ picture.
The scene then changes to The Bon-Ton Hat Store, where there is a poster of a man in a Top Hat outside with the slogan ‘The Latest London Ltd’ underneath.
‘Pa’ walks to the store. As this is a silent movie, captions occasionally describe what is happening. In this instance the word “considering” is shown in caption form, as Pa pauses to look at the hats. He then enters the store and the caption shows he is thinking “To keep up with the Joneses, I gotta have one of them new kellys.” As he comes out the caption shows “wait ‘til the folks rest their optics on this new tile.”
‘Ma’ is not as impressed as he expects though and she ‘says’ “What’s this idea, you poor fish! Posin’ as an undertaker?” Pa replies, “Just goes to show the women folks don’t appreciate art in millinery”.
The scene then changes to Pa’s bedroom at home. He is smoking a cigar while his clothes seem to remove themselves and tidy themselves in various places on his bed. All with the exception of the hat which Pa seems to be struggling to take off.
The word ‘idea’ appears in a caption form above his head and all of a sudden he removes the hat very gently and places it under the bed. Night changing to daytime is depicted by a moon smiling as it goes down for the sun to rise. A cat has also appeared during the night and gone into the room.
The next scene starts with the caption ‘birth of a new day’, then ‘the latest in cats is the latest in hats’ as kittens have been born inside the hat!
This is a warm and charming cartoon which is well worth checking out and should appeal on an art, fashion and family-friendly level.
For more great films check out: