Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth... See full summary »
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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 »
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 »
Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at home with their mother - a very outspoken women for her time. The story is of how the sisters grow up, find love and find their place in the world. Written by
Since RKO had done such a classic version of this story back in 1933 one does wonder why MGM bothered to do the story again.
In watching Little Women I believe I found the answer. In 1949 the nation was still healing from World War II. The sacrifices made on the homefront supporting the troops overseas were fresh in everyone's mind. One thing that this version reminds us of more than the 1933 film is that it does take place during the Civil War. So this quaint 19th century novel all of sudden took on a relevance for the audience of 1949.
Of course this version did not have Katharine Hepburn. And of course June Allyson is no Kate, but CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, who is? Allyson does make a winning Jo March and MGM got a great opportunity to get four of its loveliest contract players a showcase vehicle. Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson, and Janet Leigh all surely had substantial careers with better roles, but it's a treat to see them all together here. And Margaret O'Brien capped her career as child star at MGM with her performance here as Beth.
Hard to believe that the hardboiled Brigid O'Shawnessy and the beloved Marmee March could be played by the same actress. But Mary Astor was just that talented. Her role is very similar to that of Claudette Colbert in Since You Went Away. Her best scenes are concerning her care for the less fortunate Hummel family, both in telling her kids how important it is to care for the less fortunate and in actually leading the March brood over to the Hummel household.
MGM definitely made a version that will stand on its own merits even without the great Kate. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS who'd have thought it possible?
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