Saturday, May 21, 2016

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936)

IMDb plot summary: 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.
Directed by John Cromwell. Starring Freddie Bartholomew, Dolores Costello, C. Aubrey Smith, and Guy Kibbee.

Goodness gracious, this is as cheesy as can possibly be. And yet, it has a certain charm in all its extreme predictability and lack of nuance. I think Freddie Bartholomew's rather solemn performance as the child himself has something to do with it. If he had been a more cheerful young child, he would have grated on me far more, but his calm, polite demeanor, even in the face of bullies attacking him, was far more endearing than I expected and it made the moments when he did veer into obnoxious precociousness a little more palatable. As far as "children change the lives of old cranky people around them," this is one of the less annoying versions of that story. None of this sounds like a recommendation, and I'm not sure it is, particularly, but I found myself sort of begrudgingly enjoying it.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Little Lord Fauntleroy < A Little Night Music
Little Lord Fauntleroy > Mr. Holland's Opus
Little Lord Fauntleroy > Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Little Lord Fauntleroy < Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space
Little Lord Fauntleroy < Ghostbusters
Little Lord Fauntleroy < Deceived
Little Lord Fauntleroy > Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Little Lord Fauntleroy < Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Little Lord Fauntleroy > Live-In Maid
Little Lord Fauntleroy < Star Trek: Nemesis

Final spot: #1510 out of 2456.

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