Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, May 5, 2008


LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY (1936). Director: John Cromwell.

Cedric Erroll (Freddie Bartholomew), a nine-year-old boy in 1880's Brooklyn, discovers that he's actually Lord Fauntleroy and the heir to a fortune. He accompanies his mother to England to meet his grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith), but learns that his mother, whom he calls "Dearest" (Delores Costello Barrymore), is to live in a separate cottage while he lives with the old man (because his grandmother never approved of his mother). C. Aubrey Smith gives a heart-tugging performance as the grumpy old man whose love for his grandson gives him a new lease on life, and amazingly self-assured little Bartholomew is superb. Henry Stephenson, Guy Kibbee and Mickey Rooney, among others, also give superior performances. The sensitive score by Max Steiner is a plus. Charming stuff.

Verdict: Well-made, sentimental audience pleaser.***.

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