Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Little Lord Fauntleroy|
Actors: Mme. de Bodamere, Rose Dione, Joseph J. Dowling, Claude Gillingwater, Colin Kenny
Directors: Jack Pickford, Alfred E. Green
Genres: Kids & Family
Fortunes change dramatically for little Cedric, a poor American boy living in 1880s New York, when he unexpectedly inherits a British fortune. He and his mother, known as "Dearest," are sent to England to live with the col... more »
Mary was a little boy
Mr Peter G George | Ellon, Aberdeenshire United Kingdom | 03/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Little Lord Fauntleroy is an enjoyable Mary Pickford film. It is unusual not so much because she plays two roles, she had done that already in Stella Maris, but because she plays a boy. The story, adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic of a young American boy going to England to claim his inheritance, is well told with lots of humour and sentiment. Pickford does well in her two roles of mother and son and the way she interacts with herself on screen is a delight to watch, especially when one knows that these special effects were all done in the camera. Her acting in the part of Cedric can hardly be faulted. She throws herself, sometimes literally, into the part and does everything possible to transform herself into a little boy, but she is never truly convincing. This is not really the fault of her acting. Her mannerisms, her way of walking, her fights are all boyish, but she always looks just like Mary Pickford. In the end it has to be said that while Mary could transform herself into a little girl years younger than herself, she just could not make herself look like a little boy. She's far too beautiful and has too many curls. She remains, as always, the girl with the curls.
The black and white print on the Milestone DVD is pretty good. It seems to be complete and while there are quite a lot of scratches, this wear and tear is never really distracting. The image is clear and bright with a good amount of detail. I was generally pleased with how the film looks. The DVD has a good orchestral score by Nigel Holton, well played and appropriate to the mood of the film. As extras there are two photo galleries. Little Lord Fauntleroy may not be one of Pickford's very best films, but once you get used to Mary as a little boy, it becomes a lot of fun and essential viewing for her fans.
The Ideal Introduction To Mary Pickford.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 02/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 1921 version of LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY was one of Mary Pickford's biggest hits and it's easy to see why. It features her in a dual role as the little lord and his mother giving her the opportunity to showcase her acting talent in two very different roles as well as letting us see the two types of parts she would play for the rest of her career. While split-screen roles had been done many times before (Pickford even did it in 1918's STELLA MARIS) seldom has it been done as well as it is here. Not only are the double exposures perfect but the perspectives used really highlight the difference between child and adult.
Mary was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood at that time and she always worked with the best technicians available. The sets are stunning, the lighting equally memorable and Charles Rosher's cinematography is in a class by itself. The direction is credited to Alfred E.Green and Mary's brother Jack (according to Mary he was the inspiration for her portrayal of Fauntleroy) but you can be sure that she did a lot of it herself without credit. Claude Gillingswater as the old Earl of Dorincourt gives a marvelous performance every bit the equal of C. Aubrey Smith and Alec Guiness in later versions. As wonderful as Mary's child performance is, I never once thought of her as a boy (I'm sure audiences in 1921 didn't either) but she definitely was the character of Fauntleroy so it really doesn't matter. Her work as the mother is just as good showing that she could play adult roles when she gave herself the opportunity.
Sadly it is that aspect of her acting which has been forgotten over the years. Milestone's release this year of several Pickford films in restored editions to go along with those already available should help to rectify this oversight and return Pickford to her rightful place as one of the silent screen's top performers and not just "Little Mary", the good little girl caricature that most people think of her as today.
The film isn't perfect as some of Mary's concessions to her 1920's audience like the fight at the end seem out of place with the rest of the picture. Nevertheless LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY is the ideal introduction to Mary Pickford for those of you not familiar with her work while it gives those of us who are one of her best vehicles in beautiful condition. Special mention should be made of the fine orchestral score that Nigel Holton has provided for the film. Thanks again to Milestone Films and The Mary Pickford Foundation for making this and other Pickford releases available on home video."
A delightful and ever-popular classic
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 03/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You can't go too wrong with a popular and much liked story like "Little Lord Fauntleroy" - the poor boy growing up in 19th century New York who learns he is heir to an earldom in England, and whose childlike charm and good-naturedness softens the heart of his embittered and grumpy grandfather. And who better to play the role than Mary Pickford who won the title of "America's Sweetheart" for her popular and pleasing personality, her impressive acting skills and roles that appeal to everyone. In "Little Lord Fauntleroy", Mary showcases her brilliant talent for playing children - both girls and boys - as well as her versatility by also playing the role of the little lord's mother. The camera work for these scenes - mother and little lord together - is perfect, and overall this film is faultless with sharp, clear picture quality and a most beautiful orchestral score perfectly matched to the film. The scenes of the old English castle, village and surroundings are also perfect and a pleasure to behold, but above all it's Mary Pickford's charming and charismatic portrayal of the unassuming and loving Lord Fauntleroy that makes this film a real winner. Her expressive pantomime skills really bring the role of the young Lord come to life, and you won't mind one bit that she looks much more like a girl than a young boy. Next to "Stella Maris" in which she also plays dual roles very impressively, this is the best Pickford film I've seen so far, and I'm hoping that the other Pickford releases that Milestone Films has planned for later this year will be similarly enjoyable. There are slide shows of stills and other memorabilia on this DVD as well, making it an excellent Mary Pickford edition, and one that will surely appeal to many viewers."
Sweet and charming from start to finish
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 10/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the popular childrens' novel of the same name, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this is a very engrossing story that in a way transcends being a childrens' story. It takes place in 1885, starting in New York City and moving across the pond to England after young Cedric Errol (Little Lord Fauntleroy) is told that he is now a lord and next in line to become Earl of Dorincourt. Cedric and his mother Dearest aren't exactly well-off, but Cedric doesn't want to leave at first, even knowing it will greatly improve their social and financial status, because of how attached he is to the city, how much he wants to become President when he grows up, so he can help the less fortunate, the horrible things he's been told earls do, and how devoted he is to his three closest friends, Hobbs, a storekeeper, Mrs. McGinty, who sells apples, and Dick, who blackens boots.
After moving to England, Cedric, now Lord Fauntleroy, is rather upset at how his mother is forced to live in a cabin outside of the main estate instead of there in the castle with him and his grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt. "Grandfather Earl," as he calls him, never approved of the relationship Dearest and Cedric's father had, and originally didn't think very highly of Cedric himself either, but quickly lets down his reserve and finds himself incredibly charmed by his grandson. Cedric doesn't want to be the type of earl he's heard about back home, however, and uses his power and new position to help the less fortunate, like he would have done if he had become President when he was older. Things seem to be going swimmingly when all of a sudden it appears as though there might be another heir, with a more legitimate claim, which threatens to upturn the happy secure new life Cedric has made for himself. His friends back home, however, are positive this cannot be, and do some research to try to right things before it might be too late.
This is really a charming story, and also serves as wholesome family entertainment, despite the old-fashioned story (it does take place in the nineteenth century, and really reflects that different society and era), though it does seem a bit chatty at times for a silent film. That is to be expected, though, seeing as it was based on a book and not just created solely or primarily for the screen. The musical score is also very lovely, and the special effects are really something. Dual roles had been played before, but not the same way you see here, such as when Cedric kisses his mother. This was before they had computers; they had to create all of these special effects, seemingly primitive today, without help from high-tech machines. Although I have to agree that you can't really forget that Cedric is being played by a woman, as much as she really gets into the role and acts like a little boy. It was one thing for Mary Pickford to play little girls and teenagers, but in this role you never really forget that she's actually a woman and not a little boy, as good as she is at it. She just looks too pretty, too womanly, for people to completely suspend disbelief and after awhile just lose track of the fact that she is in fact a woman."