Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921).rtf
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921)
Young Cedric Errol lives with his widowed mother in New York City. Cedric's late father was a son of the Earl of Dorincourt, but the Earl had objected strongly to his son's marriage, and thus has long been estranged from Cedric and his mother.
But when the Earl's only surviving son dies in a riding accident, Cedric suddenly becomes Lord Fauntleroy, the Earl's heir. Cedric and his mother travel to England, where they must overcome the Earl's hard feelings about the past, as well as some unexpected obstacles.
Mary Pickford ... Cedric Errol / Widow Errol
Claude Gillingwater ... Earl of Dorincourt
Joseph J. Dowling ... William Havisham (as Joseph Dowling)
James A. Marcus ... Hobbs (as James Marcus)
Kate Price ... Mrs. McGinty
Fred Malatesta ... Dick
Rose Dione ... Minna
Arthur Thalasso ... The Stranger
Colin Kenny ... Bevis
Emmett King ... Reverend Mordaunt
Madame De Bodamere ... Mrs. Higgins
Director: Alfred E. Green / Jack Pickford
Codecs: XVid / MP3
Just in itself, this is an entertaining version of the old-fashioned story of "Little Lord Fauntleroy", with good characterizations, settings, and story-telling. But what makes it particularly enjoyable is Mary Pickford's irresistible charm in a double role as young Cedric and as his mother.
Pickford's performance as the mother 'Dearest' is flawless, as she portrays her with elegance and grace, practically the image of the character that you get from the story. As Cedric, Pickford certainly gives the character a new look. There's nothing in the least to criticize about her performance, yet it's impossible not to be reminded of Pollyanna, Rebecca, or Pickford's other young girl roles. Even when she gives her character a rough-and-tumble look (at which she is very good), she is just too feminine and too attractive for it not to be noticeable. Yet her charm and buoyant energy make Cedric a thoroughly engaging character, if somewhat different from his literary image.
The rest of the production deserves plenty of credit as well. Several of the supporting characters are especially good. Claude Gillingwater strikes just the right note as the old Earl, and there is a trio of pleasant characters from Cedric's old neighborhood, who just have to come on screen to be good for a smile. The settings and photography are nicely done, never ostentatious but always providing an effective backdrop for the characters and story. Perhaps most impressive of all is the special effects wizardry that makes Pickford's dual performance work so well, frequently putting her two characters together without the slightest snag.
This is the kind of old-fashioned story that Pickford makes almost effortless, yet it's not hard to see a good number of strengths, both in her own performance and in the rest of the movie.
I doubt if the costuming involved in this movie fooled anyone for an instant. Mary Pickford is clearly Mary Pickford. But she was playing a role and the audience of the time -- and I -- have no problem accepting her in the part of a boy, any more than I have a problem with the fact that Peter Pan is invariably played by a woman. I think she is perfect in the role.
This is a warm and funny version of the story, enlivened by Miss Pickford and a wonderful supporting cast, including Claude Gillingwater as the grouchy earl, D.W. Griffith regular Kate Bruce as an old apple seller and Mary Pickford as Fauntleroy's mother. People may have trouble with the sentimental story and tone, but if you accept the tale then you should have no complaints as to its manner of telling. Again, I have no problem with the story and think it compares favorably with the sound version produced by Selznick fifteen years later. True, no one can top C. Aubrey Smith as a grouchy English aristocrat, but Freddy Bartholomew was always annoying as Fauntleroy -- or, indeed, as anything.
No discussion of this movie would be complete without mentioning cameraman Charles Rosher's wizardry. There is a wonderful shot as Pickford as Fauntleroy kisses Dearest on the cheek, done so casually and effortlessly as to make it easy to miss; but it took 18 hours to film correctly. We are also confronted with the fact that Pickford as Fauntleroy seems to be about four and a half feet tall. Miss Pickford was a short woman, but she was a lot taller than that. Fans of the LORD OF THE RING trilogy are doubtless now familiar with the idea of forced perspective and doubled sets; but to watch the results done in 1921 without computer aids, optical printing or computer effects to aid the process and you will begin to get an idea of what a genius Rosher was.
My warmest thanks to the fine people at Milestone for producing this DVD release. The story is that Miss Pickford was going to have her pictures destroyed at her death because she felt that time had passed them by. She was talked out of this fancy. We can only be glad.
# In scene in which Little Lord Fauntleroy meets Dearest (both parts being played by Mary Pickford) the kiss-on-the-cheek cut took 15 hours to film and lasts 3 seconds on-screen due to the complexity of the multiple exposures. To ensure stability between takes, the camera used by cinematographer Charles Rosher was weighted down to the tune of close to a ton.