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Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)

March. 06,1936
| Drama Family

An American boy turns out to be the heir of a wealthy British earl. He is sent to live with the irritable and unsentimental aristocrat, his grandfather.


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My sister and I just finished watching the movie again. It is one of our favorites.Not only do I give it a #10 rating - I also give a rating to infinity.I grew up on the 'edge' of earlier, more sane days of our country and world - at least the first few years were more sane, even though it was after WWII.I saw enough of the kind of family life that Cedric had with his Mom, and the love and kindness shown, to gratefully remember it. My Mom continued to show me and my siblings, and others, the same kind of love and caring that Ced's mother showed him and others, with such love, kindness, and gentleness, this present world knows little, if anything, about - and today's world is really missing a lot.All generations has it's good and bad sides, and good and bad people. The kind of morals and love which this movie showed, shows what the majority of society believed and lived, which made life more sane, not perfectly so, but more so. What today's world is missing out on.


This "GEM" of a film should be digitally remastered to preserve its cinematic integrity. The audio seems a bit "washed" and scratchy and some video portions skip and flutter a bit. This is a shame considering the quality of this fine production. Freddie Bartholomew is precious in this role and was a fine actor in his own right. There is an immediate chemistry generated between him and C. Aubrey Smith. From the outset there was no clash of generations, in fact quite the contrary, they got along swimmingly! It's just too bad that the Earl shunned Dearest right off, but I guess living alone and being lonely would take its toll on anyone, especially since his son married against his wishes. In any event, there should be more movies with actors of this caliber, especially nowadays when the world could really use a great "G" rated film without all the animation and special effects. This should be required reading in schools, if for nothing else, for the lesson in humility. GREAT FILM!!!


I was familiar with the well-regarded 1980 made-for-TV remake with Alec Guinness and Ricky Schroder of this children's classic. I wasn't expecting this much earlier version to be inferior – especially given that it was a David O. Selznick production – but, as a matter of fact, I think it was just that! The cast is typically well-chosen – Freddie Bartholomew, C. Aubrey Smith, Dolores Costello, Guy Kibbee, Mickey Rooney, Una O'Connor – but the film as a whole fails to rise to the level of contemporary Selznick titles in a similar vein, like David COPPERFIELD (1935) and THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1938). Bartolomew was the top male child actor of his time (before he was superseded by co-star Rooney!) in such contemporary film adaptations of children's classics as the afore-mentioned David COPPERFIELD, CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937), KIDNAPPED (1938), SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1940) and TOM BROWN'S SCHOOLDAYS (1940).The main problem here is that the story of a young New Yorker at the turn of the century who finds himself living with his aristocratic (and tyrannical) English grandfather – where his position as heir to the title is questioned by another child, subsequently exposed as an impostor – just isn't all that interesting, and frankly quite corny (especially Freddie's penchant for constantly calling his mother "Dearest" and the way the English-hating Kibbee eventually learns to tolerate them). Even so, I would still be interested in catching the Silent 1921 version with Mary Pickford playing both mother and child!Ultimately, producer Selznick, director Cromwell and actor C. Aubrey Smith would, thankfully, fare much better on their next collaboration – the definitive screen version of another classic story, THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937; with which I intend to re-acquaint myself in the coming days).

Snow Leopard

This is a good adaptation of the story of "Little Lord Fauntleroy", with a very good cast that brings the characters to life in a believable and entertaining fashion. Besides telling the enjoyably old-fashioned family story, the movie adds some nice scenes that simply emphasize the relationships among the characters.This is one of Freddie Bartholomew's best roles, and he seems pretty natural in the part of Fauntleroy. The adult cast features some very good performances. Dolores Costello is a good choice as the gentle 'Dearest', Henry Stephenson is well-cast as the faithful Haversham, and C. Aubrey Smith seems the very embodiment of a bad-tempered Earl.But perhaps the best performances come from Guy Kibbee and a young Mickey Rooney, as Cedric's American friends. Their camaraderie in their scenes with Bartholomew works particularly well, and they figure in some of the movie's best moments.The story is just the familiar old tale, with young Cedric leaving his humble but cozy existence in Brooklyn to go to England, where he must contend with his grandfather's coldness towards his mother and with other challenges. But it's the kind of story that's easy to watch over again when it is told the right way.