Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the American Civil War, sisters Jo, Meg... See full summary »
Jo March and her sisters Meg, Beth, and Amy live in a happy family in Concord, Massachusetts. Jo yearns to be a writer, and through the course of the years, finds much within her own family... See full summary »
Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops. The family, headed by thier beloved Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet, with the help of their kind and wealthy neighbor, Mr. Laurence, and his high spirited grandson Laurie.Written by
Liza Esser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the Christmas play when the prop tower falls down Jo says everything is all right, her lips aren't moving. See more »
So you're going to Washington?
Yes, ma'am; my son is sick in the hospital there.
Oh, this will be an anxious Christmas for you.
[finding him a coat]
I think this one will do; let's try this. Is it your only son?
No, ma'am. I had four; two were killed, one is a prisoner.
You've done a great deal for your country, sir.
Oh, not a mite more than I ought, ma'am. I'd go myself if I was any use. Thank you for the overcoat.
Wait a minute...
[giving him some money]
I hope you ...
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Older video and television prints remove the original RKO logo in the opening and replace it with the one from Selznick International. See more »
From the opening titles displaying a snow covered Curier and Ives - like print underscored by a melody played on a tinkling spinet, this 1933 version of Louisa Alcott's beloved novel holds one in thrall. A Civil War era tale of a New England family's joys and tribulations centers on the March household : mother "Marmee" and her four daughters; Meg, Amy, Beth and Jo. The screenplay centers on each girl's commitment to "showing her father proud", father being a minister gone of f to war to meet the spiritual needs of the Yankee soldiers. Buoyed by their mother [ the ever perfect Spring Byington ] the girls learn the meaning of giving and sacrifice with a jollity that may be off-putting to 21st century viewers; but stick with it, for what this picture offers is nothing less than real life at its most joyful and painful. After a series of seemingly inconsequential events, the girls' placid lives are disrupted when a sibling takes ill. This section of the movie is riveting, due to the superb direction of George Cukor and Katherine Hepburn as the tomboyish Jo. The scene where Jo retreats to the attic, worried sick over the fate of her ill sister, is gut wrenching. Hepburn was just hitting her stride as a movie actress when this film came out. Not the typical glamour girl of the time, her odd beauty and diction translated into a strange alchemy when projected on a movie screen : she is unforgettable. The other actresses acquit themselves beautifully but the picture belongs to Hepburn. Lest you think all is dour and dull, this movie offers so much that is truly entertaining : a heartwarming homecoming scene; the March girls presenting a "play" in their living room to the consternation and delight of invited neighbors and several moments involving a cantankerous but lovable aunt [ the ubiquitous Edna May Oliver ]. The movie is properly accoutered with lovely interiors and authentic production design and costumes [ gabled houses and ivy covered porches; hoop skirts and muffs ]. The entire production is like a gift wrapped edition of the novel turned to celluloid! The icing on the cake, so to speak, is Max Steiner's spare, evocative music score, employing Beth's piano playing for family get togethers, parties etc., and orchestral "commentary" for dramatic, comic and action sequences. Only six years had passed since sound recording had revolutionized the film industry, but this "early talkie" uses the new technology very adeptly; although camera movement is minimal, the editing is very fluid. The sound, courtesy of old Western Electric, is fine, especially on the recent DVD release, where both aural and visual elements have been restored, assuring a great presentation. When a movie has the power to reach out over a span of seven decades and touch jaded hearts in another century, that is a sign of a classic. LITTLE WOMEN is a great American film.
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