Little Lord Fauntleroy

1863. LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY (1936-USA). With FREDDIE BARTHOLEMEW, DOLORES COSTELLO BARRYMORE, C. AUBREY SMITH, GUY KIBBEE, MICKEY ROONEY Directed by JOHN CROMWELL. Screenplay by HUGH WALPOLE. Produced by DAVID O SELZNICK. This perceptive, pleasingly sentimental, utterly delightful family drama, based on France Hodgson Burnett’s beloved Victorian-era tale, is producer David O. Selznick’s initial independent production. Child star Freddie Bartholomew is cast as Ceddie, a friendly, well-mannered lad who resides in Brooklyn with his widowed mother, whom he lovingly calls Dearest. She’s played by top silent screen star Dolores Costello, billed as Dolores Costello Barrymore because she then was wed to John Barrymore. The scenario is set into motion when Dearest learns that Ceddie is heir to a British title, and a vast fortune. The boy is ordered to England, where he’s to claim the inheritance a well as win the affection Of his stuffy, American-hating grandfather, the Earl Of Dorincourt who hat disowned Ceddie’s father. John Cromwell’s direction is smooth, and Hugh Walpole’s adaptation o the story is literate. However, the actors are what really makes this one shine. Bartholomew and Costello (who had not appeared on screen in five years) each Offer winning performances. Smith, the great British character actor, is appropriately crusty as the gruff granddad. Mickey Rooney is likably rambunctious as Ceddie’s pal, a Brooklyn shoeshine boy, and Guy Kibbee is tops as a friendly grocer. 100 minutes Drama