Little Lord Fauntleroy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Lord Fauntleroy Reviews

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August 7, 2016
A great though sentimental classic

Little Lord Fauntleroy was originally a wildly successful children's novel written in the 1880s by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's the story of a fatherless New York lad, Ceddie, who lives with his widowed mother after the death of his English father, who came from an aristocratic family. Unexpected deaths in that family result in Ceddie being designated the heir apparent to an Earldom, and he and his mother go to England so he can begin preparations to assume his inheritance. Plot complications arise from the prejudice of the old Earl, Ceddie's grandfather, against Ceddie's American mother, and the appearance of a pretender who seems to have a better claim to the Earldom. Both complications are resolved, the latter albeit by an egregiously unlikely coincidence, and a happy ending is granted to all concerned.

The book's success led to over a century of film, television, and theatre versions, of which the 1936 film directed by John Cromwell is undoubtedly the best known. This is a classic Hollywood Golden Age sentimental favorite, with a cast of old movie stalwarts you will have seen often before, including Freddie Bartholomew, Mickey Rooney, Dolores Costello, Guy Kibbee (in perhaps his best role,) C. Aubrey Smith, Una O'Connor, and others -- some of the names may be unfamiliar to you, but if you watch many classic Hollywood films, you'll recognize all the faces.

Until recently, this film has been available only in very inferior versions on TV, VHS, and DVD, but in 2012 Kino/Lorber issued a Blu-Ray DVD (I think there may also be a standard one issued) which is advertised as an "Authorized edition from the estate of David O. Selznick from the collection of George Eastman House," "mastered in HD from a original nitrate 35 mm print." At 101 minutes, I assume it's uncut. That print isn't pristine: though resolution and contrast are fine, there are some streaks and many specks, and the sound track is definitely tinny, not enough so to obscure the dialogue, but the fine Max Steiner score does sound a bit distorted. All in all, this is probably the vehicle of choice now to watch this film on.

If you've seen this film before only on a probably poor quality and incomplete TV version and liked it, you'll enjoy seeing it properly on the Kino DVD. And if you haven't seen it, I'm sure you'll find it worth watching if you like classic Hollywood films, or if you're just in the mood for an old fashioned, outrageously sentimental movie which will leave you grinning through your tears.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2014
Most thirties films with children as the leads followed the formula, whatever the vehicle, that the savvy, cynical, smartypants adults around them learn to hope, laugh, and love again because of the innocence of the child. David O. Selznick mounts this showcase for the wunderkind Freddie Bartholomew, who ably manages to string together adult sentences and ideas w/o the slightest difficulty, and who's trust in the inherent good in people changes lives.
You see all the punches coming long before they arrive, and still it's a charmer of a work.
September 17, 2012
Little Lord Fauntleroy is a cute film. It is about an American boy turns out to be the long-lost heir of a British fortune. Freddie Bartholomew and Dolores Costello give remarkable performances. The screenplay is well written. John Cromwell did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and love of family.
August 18, 2012
One of his best roles.
½ April 25, 2012
still my fave version of this story
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2011
It's like a Shirley Temple movie except with a little boy instead, and not as cute or funny!
January 9, 2011
This was on RTE the other day. The girls, especially Allie, really enjoyed it.
March 20, 2010
Everyone should watch this film.

Prior to the 70s, just about everyone had I think. Before people were calling each other "Pollyannas" they were calling each other "Little Lord Fountleroys." I've heard the reference countless times in classic cinema and television.

It's hard to imagine a contemporary film getting away with this degree of optimism.

The film is well crafted, has brilliant acting, and stars Freddie Bartholomew, one of the most beloved child stars in history. I read somewhere that schoolboys in the 30s hated Freddie because their mothers were always telling them to be like him. He's, hands down, the most charming child I've ever seen in film. I've watched him in this film, The Devil is a Sissy, and Lloyd's of London, all of which he was brilliant in, but this is my favourite.

It even has a twist ending, and a good one!
January 29, 2009
This was great. Freddie Bartholomew was the cutest kid ever! Definitely a classic film.
May 9, 2008
Shirley Temple, only British and a little fagelah...
May 3, 2008
This was a sweet film. Not the best sound quality considering how old it was, but it was still a good movie.
March 21, 2008
I did not really like this movie.
February 5, 2008
It is better with Ricky Schroder in it
December 31, 2007
What better way to raise a Lord, than to raise a pauper who can enjoy the simple pleasures of life before titles and manmade finery? This way he can spread love and happiness to all the Lords! We still love you little Bartholomew.
½ December 25, 2007
Another terrible version of this crap story. I hate this one too and want to kick that irritating kid.
½ November 16, 2007
7.5/10. Sentimental classic with an outstanding cast. Freddie Bartholomew is perfectly cast, C. Aubrey Smith gives excellent support. Well written and directed and its always interesting. Very enjoyable.
November 11, 2007
I saw this a looong time ago but it;s such a great film and it has parts which were shot in Exton so......
November 2, 2007
Classified as a classic = Interested.
October 18, 2007
still love it, one of my favorites, I read the book when I was a child
September 26, 2007
I saw this once a looonng time ago. I do remember very much enjoying it. I have seen the newer version as well. Also a favorite.
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