What's the World Coming To? (1926)

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There was no precedent for the radical change in American culture between the 1910s and 1920s -- this was the first time gender bending had found wide acceptance. People wondered how much more masculine flappers, with their flat-chested bodies and bobbed hair, were going to become. Comedy producer Hal Roach took things to what seemed to be their logical extreme in this two-reeler, and set it 100 years in the future. According to the story, in 2026 the male and female roles would be completely reversed, as would be the wardrobe. Women wear the pants in the family, literally and figuratively, while the men are modest yet fashion-conscious creatures. A couple is about to be married -- a timorous Clyde Cook is the groom and Katherine Grant is the swaggering bride. Martha Sleeper is not happy about this wedding -- she wanted Clyde for herself. Even after the couple settles down in Katherine's home, Martha hovers, ready to destroy their union. Katherine lords it over the submissive Clyde, who often goes crying to his father (James Finlayson). In spite of the domestic unrest, Martha is unsuccessful at winning Clyde back.