The Jones family were supposed to be 20th Century-Fox's low-budget response to MGM's popular Andy Hardy films, but the aspirations of the series never got any higher than the semi-pleasant "The Jones Family in Hollywood". This film is most interesting because the original story was co-written by Buster Keaton, and Buster makes a very brief uncredited appearance on screen, with no lines. Watch for the scene in which a whole squadron of hotel porters invade the Jones family's hotel suite. The porter in the front has all the dialogue. The porter standing directly behind him, with his hat pulled down over his eyes, is Buster Keaton.
Every year, Dad Jones (Jed Prouty) goes off to his American Legion convention, and every year the rest of the family refuse to accompany him to his boring convention. But this year the convention is in Hollywood, so the whole family come along. Poor old Dad spends the whole convention weekend marching in parades, carrying a heavy tuba and tooting his lungs out. Meanwhile, the rest of the family are looking for movie stars.
The film places fairly equal emphasis on each member of the Jones family, although some of the subplots are more successful than others. Most interesting is what happens to Junior Jones. The boy strikes up a friendship with a Hollywood cameraman who brings Junior into the studio and shows him the workings of a cinema camera, encouraging him to become a photographer. Of all the sequences in this film, I suspect that this scene was the dearest to Buster Keaton's heart.
"The Jones Family in Hollywood" was directed by Malcolm St Clair, a prolific comedy director who is generally regarded as a no-talent hack, and his credits bear this out. (He directed Laurel and Hardy in some of their worst, least funny films near the end of their career.) There are some good moments in "The Jones Family in Hollywood", but it's obvious why this series never took off. I'll rate this film 3 out of 10, mostly for the cameraman's scenes.
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