Little Lord Fauntleroy Reviews

  • Aug 07, 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.

    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.

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Sep 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.

    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.

  • Sep 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.

    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.

  • Apr 25, 2012

    still my fave version of this story

    still my fave version of this story

  • Sarah P Super Reviewer
    Feb 07, 2011

    It's like a Shirley Temple movie except with a little boy instead, and not as cute or funny!

    It's like a Shirley Temple movie except with a little boy instead, and not as cute or funny!

  • Jan 09, 2011

    This was on RTE the other day. The girls, especially Allie, really enjoyed it.

    This was on RTE the other day. The girls, especially Allie, really enjoyed it.

  • Mar 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!

    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!

  • May 09, 2008

    Shirley Temple, only British and a little fagelah...

    Shirley Temple, only British and a little fagelah...

  • May 03, 2008

    This was a sweet film. Not the best sound quality considering how old it was, but it was still a good movie.

    This was a sweet film. Not the best sound quality considering how old it was, but it was still a good movie.

  • Feb 05, 2008

    It is better with Ricky Schroder in it

    It is better with Ricky Schroder in it