Years to Come (1922) Poster

(1922)

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7/10
A sci-fi comedy where man's place is in the home?!
MartinHafer17 September 2017
This film can be found on the Alpha Video DVD "Hal Roach Presents Early Pathe Comedies". This very strange comedy is set sometime in the future. In it, men are feminized housewives and women rule. I think this premise developed as a reaction to women's suffrage...as women just acquired the right to vote and the film predicted this future for society.

The Australian comic Snub Pollard stars in this one and he wears very frilly clothes and must fend off unwanted advances from the sexist ladies...in particular, one behemoth who won't take no for an answer. But Snub is married and a good husband...so he takes one of the airplane taxis home. However, soon this amazon arrives and begins making movies on him...and the wife is ALSO about the house! What's to come of this? See this silly little curio to find out for yourself.

The film is ludicrous...and funny. The meek and puny Snub makes a good lead in this one...and seeing women fighting over this pipsqueak is kinda funny. Not a great comedy but one worth seeing...and enjoying.

By the way, this film is directed by Charles Parrot...Charley Chase's real name under which he directed quite a few comedy shorts.
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6/10
The future of the past
hte-trasme17 March 2010
I saw a copy of this one-reel Snub Pollard, directed by a young Charley Chase (who would later experiment with some daffy science-fiction premises in his own series of shorts), with Spanish intertitles (called "Dia Vendra" or "The Day Will Come"). Fortunately my Spanish was up to it, and I suspect the Spanish titles, very much in the vein of the film's humor and H. M. Walker's paradoxical wit, are fairly similar to those in the original English version.

Like many a Snub Pollard comedy, "Years to Come" is a complete flight of fancy. In this one, it is the year 2000, and the roles of women and men have been completely reversed. That's where almost all the jokes come from. It wouldn't be at all a politically correct premise today in 2010, and it wouldn't have ten years ago in 2000. Then again, maybe that's because "Years to Come" was right about a few things. In any case, it didn't turn out exactly like this.

As exploiting normative concepts of gender roles for laughs goes, though, this short explores the gag thoroughly -- so we having women complaining about crazy men who don't let their wives drive, being chivalrous and restraining themselves from hitting a man, scolding men for window shopping, &c., while the men gossip about the couple across the street when they should be cooking. The rudimentary cheating-scare plot expects laughs because the woman is flirting heavily with an unwilling man as the wife could come back any time from the club. It seems like the gags almost reinforce the old gender roles while they cause them to be questioned in equal measure.

The real nice thing about this short is how detailed the fantasy is though. It opens with a pretty lavish street scene with everything matching this comedy version of future society. The gag is brought down with detail even down to the costumes, with women's clothes wittily extrapolated from riding costume, and men's clothes derived from the lace jabots and sleeves and frilly shirts of the Restoration which have apparently come back into style. There are some delightful flying taxis (which only charge $1 per hour; if only prices had actually been like that by 2000!) amid the twenties-style cars and occasional horses which still line the streets.

Like most visions of the future and commentaries on the roles of the sexes a few years on (let alone 78 of them), this is a definite period piece. But it's definitely a fascinating period piece, with the usual off-beat creativity that makes Snub Pollard shorts fun, and it might just make you laugh as well.
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Let's drink, let's drink, let's drink.....
kekseksa9 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A future where the gender roles are reversed. This was not the first time this had been done. As early as 1906, pioneer woman director Alice Guy ahd produced her Les Résultats du féminisme for Gaumont, which was a distinctly anti-feminist take on the same idea. Later in the US, however, Guy, now Alice Guy-Blaché, returned to the them for her own Solax company as In the Year 2000 (1912). This, alas, is a lost film but the contemporary reviews indicate that it was a more elaborate "serio-comic" attempt to imagine a future where the roles were reversed. Both films are also satires on typical male behaviour but this is actually rather more pronounced in this Charley Chase/Snub Pollard version.

SPOILER: In fact, however, in this film the whole fantasy is a daydream provoked by the reading of a book entitled "A Glimpse of the Future". This contains the only dig against feminist since the book is supposedly written by Lydia Pinkman. Pinkman ("Lily the Pink") was in fact a celebrated nineteenth-century purveyor of quack medicines (although very similar products still exist), the famous "medicinal compounds" marketed for women suffering from period pains. Although they were first produced in the 1870s, Lily the Pink's medicine was particularly popular during prohibition because it contained eighteen percent alcohol and ti was this fact that led to the popularity of the famous drinking song ("The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham") composed in her honour (probably at the time of the First World War). Pinkman was shrewd businesswoman who made a good deal of money but she also became a minor feminist hero as a crusader fro women's health issues and her daughter (who still produced the famous compounds) had in 1922 opened a clinic in Salem, Massachusetts for young mothers and their children.
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