Ceddie, Earl of Dorincourt's only grandson and heir lives in America with his mother. The Earl, getting old, asks them to come to England. Ceddie, now Lord Fauntleroy, is an adorable little... See full summary »
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Sarah Hollis Andrews,
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Ceddie, Earl of Dorincourt's only grandson and heir lives in America with his mother. The Earl, getting old, asks them to come to England. Ceddie, now Lord Fauntleroy, is an adorable little fellow. The Earl, who at first was rather distant, becomes more en more fond of him. Then Minna shows up. She claims she was married to the Earl's eldest son and that her son, being their child, is the Earl's true heir... Written by
Willy Vanhaelen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Long ago, CBS used to make excellent adaptations of classic novels, before reality TV poisoned the sensibilities of the viewing public. Little Lord Fauntleroy is one of their best, filled with charm and energy and superior performances all around.
Filmed in England with virtually no other American in it than Ricky Schroeder, it has the proper Victorian feel to it. Ricky brings his brash but honest Yankee personality into this staid atmosphere and shakes up his grandfather's long-held prejudices against the Colonies and his own family and tenants. Schroeder was the ultimate child actor; no other I could think of would have done this role justice as he is perfect for the part. His beautiful blond hair, in the requisite pageboy required for a Victorian Lord Fauntleroy, frames his angelic face and visually sets him on a plane above every other actor, even Alec Guinness. Guinness is superb as the bitter and self-absorbed grandfather. The rest of the supporting players are excellent, especially Colin Blakely as the opinionated Mr. Hobbs, the American grocer. The English countryside and architecture also have their own role to play here. The landscape is lush and beautiful, and the enormous estate that Lord Fauntleroy will inherit is magnificent, adding much to the atmosphere.
This is a fine family film which is especially wonderful to watch at Christmas; unfortunately it hasn't been out on VHS since 1980 and hasn't been released in the US on DVD, but has been released in an Italian edition with the English soundtrack and Italian menu options. The transfer is excellent and the film is uncut. This is not hard to find but is in Region 2 format, so regular US DVD players won't play it. If you ever run across a copy of the film in any form don't hesitate to snap it up. This is one of those rare films that truly brings a novel to life, and it shouldn't be missed.
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