Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921) - Plot Summary - Quite engaging silent film version based on the famous novel "Little Lord Fauntleroy", written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Pickford plays Cedric Errol, New York City "boy" with those famous "Fauntleroy" long ringlet curls and black velvet suit. He gets in fights with the school bully who calls him a "curly-haired sissy" and thinks about cuttin' his curls off, but his Mother, Dearest (also played by Mary Pickford), doesn't want him to grow up - so the curls stay. Cut to England, where lives in a huge castle, the Earl of Dorincourt, a crusty old man and friendless recluse who happens to have a "fabulous fortune". He also has a wild, drunken son, who falls off his horse and dies. The son turns out to be Cedric's long-lost dad, so Cedric is proclaimed Lord Fauntleroy, who will one day become Earl. He leaves New York City and his pack of "best friends" including the local grocer, boot-black, and apple woman, to live in the castle with, as Cedric soon calls him, Grand-daddy Earl. Dearest is forced to live in the front gate cottage 'cause the Earl doesn't trust her. But our dear little Cedric soon charms the old guy, his lawyer, all the house servants, and the whole village!

    Review - This film is thoroughly enjoyable, and though I find it at times very hard to imagine that Mary Pickford is a boy (especially since "he" is wearing lipstick and full make-up), still she is completely charming in the part. This film includes some very well-done split screen work when Cedric and Dearest are both on screen together. The DVD I saw was from Milestone Films, and features a clear, nice-looking sepia-tinted print and a very good orchestral score done by Nigel Holton, which I thought matched the film really well. Terrific. - - - - OUR GANG ALERT: Watch for baby Jackie Condon in a bit part in the opening scene in NYC. He's the little boy who pulls off his shoes, then hat to reveal his famous mop of hair, and then chases after a street cleaning truck to run in the water. Rating - * 10/10 stars *

    Director: Alfred E. Green and Jack Pickford
    Film Genre: Period Drama
    Film Runtime: 112 minutes

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10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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