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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not Released as a Mini-Series

5/10
Author: YorkvilleGirl from United States
19 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently released on DVD, one would think this was the actual 300 minute mini-series. I mean, these days, who would actually pay for a truncated version cut down to a "feature-length" 171 minutes? Apparently, I did. Thus, I was concerned that I'd be missing important parts of the original hit 1995 BBC version. Sadly, I shouldn't have worried. This version is a major disappointment. Obviously, the people who adapted the classic novel felt it necessary to pad even the cut version with unnecessary plot points that WEREN'T EVEN IN THE BOOK! They even try to put a subtle romance in there between the mother and the reverend. Puh-leez! Here, the codger old Earl spends half the movie being cowed and intimidated by the vulgar, phony daughter-in-law of his eldest son. She actually moves into the castle, takes over, gets our little hero kicked out of his rooms, and completely changes the story. Huh? Why? They put in this lame bit about her threatening to reveal secrets, and suddenly, the real hero is separated from his beloved grandfather in favor of the brat who looks like Dudley in "Harry Potter."

I might have forgiven it all, had the entire production not been so utterly charmless. The actor playing Lord F. is a gawky, buck-toothed nice enough kid, but he's completely unexceptional. You simply can't put a blond wig on some actor and make him cute. He just isn't convincing as the child so sweet, kind and charismatic, that he wins the heart of everyone he meets. Actors just seemed to be walking through their parts, with the exception of the supporting cast. You never believe for one moment that you were transported to the late 19th century. There was no magic. Plus, it's impossible to remove the over-large English subtitles from the screen. What a distraction.

For me, the original 1939 version had sweetness and charm. The definitive version is the Ricky Shroeder-Alec Guiness 1980 TV version. It truly transported you into that world. Even though it was shorter, it remained truer to the heart of the original story. Ricky Shroeder actually made you want to hug him, he was so wise and sweet...and charismatic. The real crime here is why that version hasn't ever been released on DVD, and was only offered briefly on video, like 5000 years ago.

Don't waste your money like I did. Hold out for the 1980 version on DVD.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Is a marvelous family movie and I enjoyed it very much.

10/10
Author: Quicksilver 2 from Michigan, USA
12 July 2001

This is the type of video I like to have for my grandchildren to see when they come. It is well acted and believable and Little Lord Fauntleroy is not too sweet to be believed. I would watch this and encourage other people to see it and get it for their youngsters and enjoy it themselves.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good For Family, Good For Children - And Beautifully Done!

9/10
Author: tygerrstar from United States
9 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Give your children the chance to see this story of a boy who bravely, and honorably, faces: loss, estrangement, uncertainty, despair, false pride, and more of the challenges that life will bring to everyone. Little Cedric has lost his father, yet remains the one great comfort to his mother - who never loses her focus on what is decent and right. Cedric becomes Lord Fauntleroy by inheritance and must leave his New York home to begin his new duties as an English Earl. He faces every challenge with optimism, love, unwavering kindness, and hope. Even when all is nearly lost and it may be cruelly taken from him, he sees only good in every one. This beautiful journey will charm you into feelings of warmth and hope. I look forward to seeing again - so will you!

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