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Little Women (1933)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Romance | 24 November 1933 (USA)
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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... See full summary »

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Writers:

(by) (as Louisa M. Alcott), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Jo
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Amy
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Meg
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Brooke (as John Davis Lodge)
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Mr. March (as Samuel Hinds)
Mabel Colcord ...
Marion Ballou ...
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Storyline

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 <essereli@student.msu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 November 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Quatro Irmãs  »

Box Office

Budget:

$424,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Theater Guild on the Air" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 21, 1947 with Katharine Hepburn again reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

In the Christmas play when the prop tower falls down Jo says everything is all right, her lips aren't moving. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marmee March: So you're going to Washington?
Elderly man: Yes, ma'am; my son is sick in the hospital there.
Marmee March: Oh, this will be an anxious Christmas for you.
Marmee March: [finding him a coat] I think this one will do; let's try this. Is it your only son?
Elderly man: No, ma'am. I had four; two were killed, one is a prisoner.
Marmee March: [deeply moved] You've done a great deal for your country, sir.
Elderly man: Oh, not a mite more than I ought, ma'am. I'd go myself if I was any use. Thank you for the overcoat.
Marmee March: Wait a minute...
Marmee March: [giving him some money] I hope you ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Matinee Theatre: Little Women (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Played briefly when Mrs. March and the old man exchange Christmas wishes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"What richness!"
16 July 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

George Cukor said once that he had always assumed Louisa May Alcott's classic to be "a book that little girls read, like 'Elsie Dinsmore'," and he was pleasantly surprised by how solid and adult its themes are. He was right -- it's about falling in love with the wrong people, summoning the moral strength to overcome great obstacles, and accepting the responsibilities that come with maturity. His discovery and enthusiasm are wonderfully conveyed in this unfussy, honest adaptation. The scale and design are just right -- the March household isn't prettied-up as in later versions, you can see how much the family is struggling. Max Steiner's music is as simple and sweet as a Whitman's Sampler. And the casting, while not ideal, is inspired in the major roles. This was the first instance of Katharine Hepburn embodying all the feisty-New England qualities we associate with her, and it's as though lightning struck or something; she's truly inspired, lit from within. Watch her body language, how she matures from a gawky, hoydenish tomboy into a pensive and irresistible young lady. (Winona Ryder was a diligent and hardworking Jo in 1994, but she doesn't have Hepburn's... inevitability.) She's partnered splendidly by Douglass Montgomery, who's a more ardent and virile Laurie than you'd expect. Paul Lukas loads on the Continental charm as Professor Baer, making him seem an ideal match for Hepburn. And, of course, Edna May Oliver was born to play dour old Aunt March.

Spring Byington is a sugary, unpersuasive Marmee -- how did Jo inherit all that backbone, anyway, with such a wispy parent? -- and Jean Parker is both too old and too passive to convince as Beth. (She was good years later, in "The Gunfighter," in about as different a role as can be imagined.) But it's a measure of this film's overwhelming rightness that, over 70 years later, it can still move grown men to tears. It's dated in some of its particulars -- a stilted line here, a clumsy transition there -- but not in its generosity of spirit or depth of feeling. Few movies from 1933, in fact, still play as well.


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