VHS/DVD/ B & W/100 Minutes
Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Dolores Costello Barrymore, C. Aubrey Smith, Mickey Rooney
Here's a film the whole family can enjoy together, a brilliant classic that will touch your heart.
Little Freddie Bartholomew, (my favorite child actor of all time), plays young Cedric Erroll, and endearing little boy growing up on the tough streets of Brooklyn. "Ceddie" is kind and loving, but he can hold his own in a street fight, often in the company of his best friend Dick, a young ruffian masterfully portrayed by Mickey Rooney.
Ceddie's mother is a widow. Her father-in-law is a cranky old English nobleman, the Earl of Dorincourt, portrayed by the wonderful C. Aubrey Smith. When the Earl learns that young Ceddie is the legal heir to his vast estate, he summons the child to England, to live with him at his English Estate. The story line centers around the relationship between the Earl, (who hates all Americans), and young Ceddie, who is now titled "Lord Fauntleroy". And just about the time Fauntleroy wins the Earl over, a rival appears who threatens everything.
This film will move you. Truthfully, I can hardly think of any movie I've ever seen that warmed my heart more than this one. It's a marvelous story about how love, innocence and honesty can soften the hardest heart, melt the cruelest person, and change the lives of all around.
The immortal David O. Selznick produced this picture, John Cromwell directed, and the music is by another film great, Max Steiner. The actors are consistently superb. And since the main character is a child, your own children will probably follow this movie quite well. It's short, too, at only one hour and forty minutes. There's nothing objectionable here so get the whole family together to watch it.
The down side regarding Young Lord Fauntleroy is purely technical. The print is old. Even the DVD version is of poor quality. How sad that we've let films like this decay into dust while we spend millions to produce the garbage that passes for entertainment these days!