29 user 7 critic

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)

An American boy turns out to be the long-lost heir of a British fortune. He is sent to live with the cold and unsentimental Lord, who oversees the trust.


Jack Gold


Blanche Hanalis (screenplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (based on the novel by)
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky Schroder ... Lord Fauntleroy
Alec Guinness ... Earl of Dorincourt
Eric Porter ... Havisham
Colin Blakely ... Hobbs
Connie Booth ... Mrs. Errol
Rachel Kempson ... Lady Lorradaile
Carmel McSharry Carmel McSharry ... Mary
Antonia Pemberton Antonia Pemberton ... Dawson
Rolf Saxon ... Dick
John Cater ... Thomas
Peter Copley ... Rev. Muldaur
Patsy Rowlands ... Mrs. Dibble
Ann Way ... Miss Smith
Patrick Stewart ... Wilkins
Gerry Cowper ... Mellon


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 and 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 <willy.vanhaelen@advalvas.be>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance


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Did You Know?


There was originally to be a scene of Cedie (Lord Fauntleroy) being born. The scene shoot was planned for the 6th of August 1980, which was the due date of James Hodcroft, the baby that the producers had lined up to portray the infant-version of the titular character. Belvoir castle is in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. Ricky Schroder stayed in a local village called Barrowby, for the U.K. filming, with the Hodcroft-family. James was born a day late, on the 7th of August; although the scene was filmed, it was ultimately cut from the movie. See more »


When Ceddie first goes to visit his mother he's running towards her and his hat blows off onto the grass. It can be seen from the point of view from the house when he and his mother are hugging. In the next view from the carriage that he came in, the hat is not on the grass. In the next scene from the view of the house the hat can be seen on the grass. See more »


Hobbs: I'll be jiggered.
Lord Fauntleroy: I'm jiggered too, Mr. Hobbs.
See more »


Version of O Jardim Encantado: Episode #1.1 (1959) See more »


Oh, Dem Golden Slippers
Written by James Allen Bland (as James A. Bland)
[Ceddie dances at the ball]
See more »

User Reviews

Decent adaptation, worthwhile as a whole, only slightly overdone
26 December 2005 | by Andreas_NSee all my reviews

This adaptation of F.H. Burnett's novel features a very convincing Alec Guinness and manages to deliver the story in a very decent manner.

Ricky Schroder was at the beginning of his "child star" period. His part in the movie is a bit overdone to my mind, but this might be due to the story and is probably done deliberately.

I particularly liked the camera work. The wonderful British countryside was stunningly captured. This serves as a means of illustrating the strong contrast between the boy's urbanized life in New York and the rural dwellings in England. The audience is presented not only with picturesque images but also authentic depictions of how the poor peasants had to live in those days. This was conveyed as adequately as it was possible for a low budget production like this.

The story is interesting and nicely staged, but again, maybe a bit overdone occasionally. This makes the movie a story for children rather than adults. The changes Alec Guinness goes through could have been presented in a more credible manner - he sheds his aristocratic rigor and austerity too quickly. Ricky Schroder again seems totally unaware of his grandfather's real character and is apparently living in a kind of ideal world he creates with his childish naivety. Again - this aspect and the interaction between the characters based on this premise is slightly surreal.

The strengths of the movie are the messages and the exciting quest of Little Lord Fauntleroy to settle in to his aristocratic life - which he does in a very straightforward manner and with disarming charm.

It is basically a very solid movie with a clear message: We need to look at things unbiasedly and make us aware that we can change the world for the good of all if we just make an effort. The movie does not aim at lofty commercial objectives but stays true to the novel and thus gives a considerably decent account of how even the most old-established system can change if you admit fresh air.

Sometimes all it needs is a little fair-haired boy from Hester Street, NY.

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Release Date:

25 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Little Lord Fontleroy See more »

Filming Locations:

Exton, Rutland, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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