Posts Tagged ‘freddie bartholomew’

Captains Courageous

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Captains Courageous (1937)

Tagline – The Most Exciting Picture Since “Mutiny on the Bounty”!

Starring – Spencer Tracy (Manuel Fidello), Freddie Bartholomew (Harvey Cheyne), Lionel Barrymore (Disko Troop), Melvyn Douglas (Frank Burton Cheyne).

Released – May, 1937

Directed By – Victor Fleming

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer

Description – Again – as in the stirring Mutiny On the Bounty – you live the roaring drama of men against the sea. You share the struggles, the heartaches, and the laughter, of courageous souls who leave the women they love to dare the wrath of the angry waves.

Harvey Cheyne is the spoiled son of his business tycoon and absentee father Frank Burton Cheyne. Shipped off to a private school, where he is shunned by his classmates, young Harvey is suspended due to his bad behavior.

Realizing that his son needs closer attention, his father decides to take Harvey along on a trans-Atlantic business trip. During the voyage Harvey displays arrogance to all around him, and during a prank gone wrong falls overboard off the coast of Newfoundland.

He is rescued by Portuguese-American fisherman Manuel Fidello and taken aboard the fishing schooner. Harvey tries to convince the captain of the schooner, Disko Troop, that he is wealthy and should immediately be taken to shore.

Captain Troop, not believing his story, refuses and puts Harvey to work at a low paying job for the three month duration of the voyage. Also on the schooner is the captain’s son Dan who gradually develops a friendship with Harvey as the young man begins to learn the ways of working on a ship.

With the guidance of Manuel, and the influence of the other tough crew-mates, young Harvey begins to learn a hard lesson. His former habits of demanding special treatment, lying, cheating, and whining to get what he wants are of no value at sea where every man, young or old, must pull their own weight.

Slowly, Manuel begins to become the father figure that Harvey had always wanted and needed. But, the hardest life-lesson is yet to be learned as tragedy looms in the near future for young Harvey.

NOTABLE: Captains Courageous received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Spencer Tracy), and was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Writing, Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

This motion picture would become the first MGM film to be shown on television, in 1955.

Spencer Tracy hesitated before finally accepting the role of Manuel Fidello because the role required him to sing in several scenes and to have his hair curled. Tracy’s new hairdo prompted a great deal of kidding from his actor friends with Joan Crawford referring to him as Harpo.

Captains Courageous was one of Lionel Barrymore’s last films. Degenerative arthritis was beginning to cripple him. The next year in You Can’t Take it with You, Barrymore hobbled around with crutches, and shortly after that film was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

When Spencer Tracy was presented his Oscar for this film he was shocked to find that the statue was inscribed to Dick Tracy. The very embarrassed Academy replaced the statuette.



Little Lord Fauntleroy

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Starring – Freddie Bartholomew (Cedric “Ceddie” Errol), Dolores Costello (“Dearest” Errol), C. Aubrey Smith (Earl of Dorincourt), Guy Kibbee (Mr. Hobbs), Henry Stephenson (Havisham), Mickey Rooney (Dick).

Released – April, 1936

Directed By – John Cromwell

Produced By – Selznick International Pictures

Distributed By – United Artists

Description – With the passing of his father, young Ceddie Errol and his mother live modestly in 1880’s Brooklyn while his father’s family live with wealth and status in England.

Ceddie’s father was disowned, by his very prejudiced English grandfather the Earl of Dorincourt, for marrying an American, and cut off from the family’s wealth. However, when the Earl loses his last son, the laws of inheritance progression make Ceddie the next heir.

The Earl sends his lawyer, Havisham, to America to bring Ceddie to England. Mrs. Errol accompanies her son, but she is denied accommodation at Dorincourt castle. Mrs. Errol decides to keep the fact that this is due to the Earl’s prejudice from Ceddie to spare his feelings.

With Ceddie now ready to assume his role as Lord Fauntleroy, the Earl wishes to set him up with an allowance. This idea is not approved by Mrs. Errol and she refuses the allowance.

Well-mannered and courteous, Ceddie slowly begins to win over the Earl and his family. A grand party is planned where the Earl plans to introduce his grandson to British society. At the conclusion of what was a wonderful party, the Earl’s lawyer Havisham speaks with him about a claim that Ceddie is not the rightful heir and that there is proof that this is true.

Heartbroken, the Earl seems to have no choice but to accept the claim as valid. When the news makes the papers back in Brooklyn, an old childhood friend of Ceddie believes this claim to be no more than the plan of a fortune-hunting woman whom he recognizes as his actress sister-in-law.

NOTABLE: As a result of problems with the Internal Revenue Service, Selznick International Pictures was liquidated and this motion picture now is in the public domain.