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Little Men (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 29 November 1940 (USA)
Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer operate the Plumfield School for poor boys. When Dan, a tough street kid, comes to the school, he wins Jo's heart despite his hard edge, and she ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jo
...
...
Major Burdle
...
Dan
...
Nan
...
Professor Bhaer (as Charles Esmond)
Richard Nichols ...
Casey Johnson ...
Francesca Santoro ...
...
Lillian Randolph ...
...
Edward Rice ...
Anne Howard ...
Jimmy Zahner ...
Jack (as Jimmy Zaner)
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Storyline

Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer operate the Plumfield School for poor boys. When Dan, a tough street kid, comes to the school, he wins Jo's heart despite his hard edge, and she defends him when he is falsely accused. Dan's foster father, Major Burdle, is a swindler in cahoots with another crook called Willie the Fox. When the Plumfield School becomes in danger of foreclosure, the two con men cook up a scheme to save the home. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Louisa May Alcott's Little Men  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Russ Powell (Railroad Conductor) and Lew Kelly (Postman) are in studio records/casting call lists as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At about five minutes, the Baby turns completely around in its box between shots. See more »

Quotes

Major Burdle: [to Willie] I won't lose his love and respect, not even if i have to steal the money to prove than I'm honest.
See more »

Connections

Version of Little Men (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair
(1854) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played by Schuyler Standish on violin
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User Reviews

 
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, Jo's All Grown Up
25 June 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Though Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is definitely the superior book by most standards, Little Men certainly has its supporters and like Little Women it has seen many filmed versions. This particular one from RKO in 1940 starring Kay Francis as the now grownup Jo March is probably the best known.

Jo's a woman now and married to that visiting professor guy played by Carl Esmond here and they're running a school now, the Plumfield School where they try to make young gentlemen out of spirited boys. Back in the day girls were not considered to need an education, but they're kind of snuck in anyway.

George Bancroft and sidekick Jack Oakie stop by one day and deposit Bancroft's son with the school, Jimmy Lydon. Esmond who's not a worldly sort is so taken with Bancroft that he gives him their savings to invest. For all his pretensions Bancroft and Oakie are a pair of amiable grifters.

Oakie gives the best performance in the film, he steals whatever scene he's in. In fact he's the guy who comes up with a unique solution to everybody's problems in the end.

Jo March was one of Katharine Hepburn's earliest film successes back in 1933. If Kate had still been with RKO it might have been interesting to see her naturally age into the part again. As it is Kay Francis does well by Jo.

Little Men also reminds so much of a 19th century Boys Town so much so you keep waiting for Mickey Rooney to pop up. He also would have been a natural for Jimmy Lydon's part.

This version of a timeless literary classic still holds up well and is great family viewing.


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