7.2/10
6,420
62 user 32 critic

Little Women (1933)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Romance | 24 November 1933 (USA)
Trailer
3:01 | Trailer
A chronicle of the lives of a group of sisters growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Jo March
Joan Bennett ... Amy March
Paul Lukas ... Professor Bhaer
Edna May Oliver ... Aunt March
Jean Parker ... Beth March
Frances Dee ... Meg March
Henry Stephenson ... Mr. Laurence
Douglass Montgomery ... Laurie
John Lodge ... Brooke (as John Davis Lodge)
Spring Byington ... Marmee March
Samuel S. Hinds ... Mr. March (as Samuel Hinds)
Mabel Colcord ... Hannah
Marion Ballou ... Mrs. Kirke
Nydia Westman ... Mamie
Harry Beresford ... Doctor Bangs
Edit

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

Taglines:

A warm, human story of American life (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Tech Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - August 3, 1944) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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 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 find him ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Older video and television prints remove the original RKO logo in the opening and replace it with the one from Selznick International. See more »


Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
A Timeless Piece Of Americana
10 June 2002 | by mpofarrellSee all my reviews

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.


33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 62 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Women See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$424,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Color:

Black and White (hand-colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed