Little Lord Fauntleroy (TV Movie 1980) Poster

(1980 TV Movie)

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10/10
Far and away the best version ever made!
richardstrickland24 December 2003
Not only an excellent leading cast, Alec Guinness superb as the curmudgeony earl and Ricky Schroeder believably charming as the American boy thrust into the world of the English nobility, the minor characters are also exceptional: Eric Porter as the earl's steward and Patrick Stewart as the head coachman both particularly memorable. The pace of the film is also excellent, events happen and characters develop with interesting detail but without over emphasis or very drawn out scenes. Overall, in our family's top 20 or even top 10 fims. So, why on earth can't the studio issue this film on VHS or DVD! Considering the absolute rubbish that is now available even on DVD there must surely be a market for an excellent seasonal "family" film like this. We made a recording when this film was shown on TV sometime in the early 80s, since when it has been played at least twice a year for the last 20 years and both sound and vision have now deteriorated to a point where it is almost unwatchable. PLEASE! someone, pass this request on to the studio and get it issued on DVD. We know there are many families like us who would be happy to pay £15 or so for a new version to play for the next 20 years.
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A Christmas Jewel
imbwoc11 June 2004
The young Rick(y) Schroder is delightful as the displaced and uprooted Little Lord Fauntleroy/Ceddie. Consider the beautiful English countryside as an important member of a stellar cast; mixed together it would be difficult to make anything but an excellent film.

That innocent young Fauntleroy melts the heart of his cantankerous grandfather played by Alec Guinness is hardly surprising. It is the typical Christmas good overcoming evil theme in the best Charles Dickens tradition. It is the path of the film, the actors and the setting that make this a jewel. The plot goes something like this: Grandfather sends for grandson.

Grandson assumes love, Grandfather is looking for an heir.

Heir becomes loved grandson.

There are subplots of grandfather not liking American mother/daughter-in-law and refusing to acknowledge her; the deplorable conditions of the estate's workers; and a contender for heir to the title and estate.

I watched this gem when it first aired and have watched my poorly transferred VHS copy yearly since (in my household it wouldn't be Christmas without it).

I long for this made-for-TV movie to be released on a remastered DVD.
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A masterful adaptation of a venerable classic
Marta11 December 1999
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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9/10
Nostalgia
Jason Clarke14 June 2005
I remember this film with great fondness. The film is full of well known British actors and American's Connie Booth and Ricky Schroder. I would dearly love to see this film again. I first saw it at the cinema, which would often show TV movies, and then it seemed to be shown on TV almost every Christmas.

The music score was particularly good too and even now I can remember the wonderful theme.

Another reason why I liked this film so much is that it was filmed locally to where I used to live. The castle scenes were filmed in and around Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire (near Grantham), and where the Duke of Rutland resides. The shop/village scenes were filmed in the village of Exton, Rutland (near Oakham - my home town).

Hope to see a DVD copy sometime! BTW would love to know Patrick Stewart's thoughts/memories on this film!
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10/10
Excellent Movie with Excellent cast
nabor728 December 2006
I have just finished watching this movie two days in a row. A better cast could not have been found. I will not bother watching any other remakes of this as any other cast cannot stand up to this one. I have always been a fan of Alec Guiness and he plays the stoic Earl perfectly, even when Fauntleroy catches him off guard. The plot is predictable and moves swiftly, but it is the honest and precocious way Lord Fauntleroy commits the Earl's money and feelings that make this a great movie. Ceddies life on Hester street and his friends, Dick and Mr. Hobbs, was a good beginning, especially Mr. Hobb's political misgivings. I have never read the book or seen any version of this until now, so I found myself looking forward to the next unplanned method Lord Fauntleroy would thaw his Grandfather.I would recommend this to everyone as a great way to relax with the family.
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10/10
One of the all time Guiness Greats
lestombs9 April 2001
This was indeed one of the best ever. I loved Ceddy's rendition of "Oh dem golden slippers".

Throughout it was well timed and a real tear jerker.

I lost my copy several years ago - anyone know where one is available???
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10/10
Little Lord Fauntleroy follows the book perfectly
lalilover7 June 2007
I love this film and think it is criminal that it isn't out on DVD for everyone to enjoy. It is Alec Guiness at his best --as good as Star Wars--and Little Ricky Schroder as perfectly as the author wrote the book.

The mother is great and all the supporting cast too. The beauty of English countryside and of New York are wonderful. The lines are terrific. The mother's speech about American values and the lawyers prejudice of English countryside are just fantastic.

I have a worn VHS tape from the TV of it that may break any year now. so I really would like it out on DVD.

A great children's or Cmas film. I put it up to the level with "It's a Wonderful Life."!!!
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7/10
A well done television adaptation of the classic story.
Jim5 May 2006
With a star like Alec Guiness and a screenwriter like Blanche Hanalis (The Waltons) it can't be a typical made for TV movie, and it isn't.

Director Jack Gold manages to stay away from the cloying sentimentality and excessive wordiness of the badly written novel by F H Burnett. The relationship between the young boy (Schroder) who refuses to see the selfishness in his crusty and ill-tempered grandfather (Guiness) and the lonely old man, is developed reasonably well considering the budget and time restraints.

The plot concerns a young, fatherless boy, growing up on Hester Street in the low income district of New York as he rises to wealth and social position by the whim of an old man after his three sons die. Cedric's father, the youngest son, would have been the last to inherit his father's Earldom in rural England. But his unfortunate death when Cedric was very young, means the nine year old will be the next Earl of Dorincourt. His grandfather does not approve of his son's marriage to Cedric's mother, and sends for the boy to live with him, putting the mother up in a cottage on his estate because he fears what others will say if he does not provide for her in some way.

The boy is not told of his grandfather's disaffection for his mother and gradually thru his trust and fondness for his grandfather, the boy transforms the selfish Earl into a kinder, more compassionate person. When the Earl suddenly hears of another claim to the Earldom thru the illegitimate child of his middle son, Beavis, he is shocked and outraged to discover the boy and his mother are ignorant and mercenary.

Shamed by his grandson into doing good deeds, the old Earl realizes that he is not as good a man as he should be and begins to mend his ways.

The story is well told, and from a strictly critical viewpoint may be a bit too sentimental. But compared with the actual novel this film is derived from, the story has been made vastly more enjoyable by the removal of the hundreds of unnecessary adjectives in Burnett's badly written novel. Although the story was brought forward in time a few decades, this does not lessen the impact of the plot, or decrease the enjoyment factor. THe language used by young Cedric sounds a bit stilted in the mouth of Ricky Schroder, but it is the fault of the author and not the director.

I definitely feel this film is well worth viewing, so make some popcorn, call the kids into the living room and sit back and enjoy Alec Guiness, Ricky Schroder, Eric Porter and Patrick Stewart in LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY.
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10/10
Yes you can get this on a DVD!
richardstrickland21 January 2005
Our family have loved this film for years. (see my comments posted in December 2003) But our recorded VHS version had deteriorated so much that it was no longer enjoyable to watch. I tried the "normal" means to searched for a DVD version but without success. I could only find VHS "collectable" copies at ludicrous prices (£40 to £50 plus postage, etc.) . Then I found someone in Holland offering a version on Ebay and thus discovered accident that a DVD version had been produced in Italy! - in English AND Italian. A quick web search enabled me to order from an Italian book & media Internet seller and I got an excellent copy in proper box within 3 days for a total price including delivery of under £20 ($35). Worth every penny even though it had only mono sound and presumably must have been a copy from a film distributor's version !
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10/10
Remembering this movie from a fathers perspective
brian arpel29 November 2005
This film was released in 1980 (as stated), three years after my younger daughter was born. I taped it on TV, and she watched it avidly for many years. It became a milestone in our family life.

Within a year of first seeing it, my daughter knew every line of the script, and we would watch her watching the movie, her lips moving, speaking all the parts...(she was of course, going to marry Ricky Schroder). She still has the tape, and even at 28 years of age, still watches it from time to time. But it is sadly worn, and like another reviewer, I too long for it to be re-released on DVD. It is a beautifully made story performed equally beautifully by a superb cast.

It is an exiting story for all ages, with a feel good ending reminiscent of a kinder and more gentle age. May it last forever, and if anyone knows where it may be purchased, either new on tape, or even if it has indeed been released on DVD...please, PLEASE let me know...Enjoy! Brian Arpel
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